"Whereas most other modern composers are engaged in manufacturing cocktails of every hue and description, I offer the public pure cold water." -- Jean Sibelius

Sibelius, Nature and Climate Change is an extraordinary concert honoring the composer Jean Sibelius in his 150th anniversary year.

Nature was a great source of inspiration for Sibelius but is now threatened by climate change. The concert will consist of pieces, pictures and multimedia that depict the Finnish nature. Dr. Tapio Kanninen will talk about climate change and it's effect on people and artists of today.

Sibelius wrote "Adagio for Four Hands" for his wife, Aino, to celebrate her 60th birthday in 1931. The piece will be presented on the world scene for the first time.

Attendance is FREE, reception to follow. Reception sponsored by Consulate General of Finland. Organized by Global Crisis Information Network Inc.
About the Artists

Tapio Kanninen is President of Global Crisis Information Network, Inc. (GCINET) and Co-Chair of the Project on Global Sustainability at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, Graduate Center of The City University of New York, where he also earned his PhD in political science. He was, during his long UN career, Chief of the Policy Planning Unit of the Department of Political Affairs and part of the UNEP's project on establishing a global system of environmental statistics. GCINET is a non-profit organization that tries to fight against catastrophic climate change by organizing events, mobilizing people to act, and distributing information.

Cellist Jussi Makkonen was chosen for the Sibelius Academy's youth training in 1993, and in 1996 he started his university studies at the Academy, under the tutelage of Martti Rousi. He completed his Master in Music in 2005. After winning the Finnish try-outs for the Eurovision Young Musicians competition in 1996, Makkonen has been a performer in demand, both in Finland
and abroad. In 2008, a Sibelius record by Makkonen was released for international distribution by the record label Naxos. Since that time, Makkonen has performed the music of Sibelius to hundreds of thousands of listeners in his concerts in Finland, most other European countries, Southeast Asia, the United States and Canada. He has appeared on the music programs of many radio and TV stations in Finland, the USA, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Romania. Aside from concerts, Jussi Makkonen also performs at state functions. He has appeared at a reception given by the President of the Republic of Finland in Mantyniemi. Jussi Makkonen plays a 1757 Henry Jay cello.

Pianist Ruusamari Teppo started piano in her native country, Finland, at the age of five. After graduating from the Sibelius High School in Helsinki, she studied for three years in Paris with the distinguished professor and pianist of the Tchaikovsky Trio, Konstantin Bogino. She has artist's certificates for the Prague Conservatory and the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. The Finnish government gave Ms. Teppo scholarships to study at both places. Since 2001 she has been studying at the University of North Texas with
Van Cliburn winner, Vladimir Viardo. Ruusamari has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the USA, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Estonia, and South Africa. In March, 2008 she won the second prize at the Petroff Piano competition in San Antonio, Texas. She has been an artist in several festivals and performed for radio and television in Finland and the United States. Being a direct descendant of Jean Sibelius, Ruusamari performs many of his works including a project for the unpublished, early chamber works. Ms. Teppo was also a coordinator for the 4th International Jean Sibelius Conference held in Denton, TX, USA.

Pianist Nazig Azezian began playing the piano at the age of eight, at the East Helsinki Music Institute. From 2007, she started her university studies at the Sibelius Academy studying Music Performance under Juhani Lagerspetz, Teppo Koivisto and Hamsa Al-Wadi Juris. In the spring of 2014, Azezian completed her Master's degree in Music, finishing her piano diploma with excellent grade. In 2012, Azezian received an award at the Sibelius Academy's internal Helmi Vesa piano competition. In her artistic work, she
has benefited from the support of the Wegelius Foundation (Wegelius-saatio) and the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Nazig Azezian has been an active performer as a solo and lied pianist, and played chamber music in various ensembles in series of concerts and at festivals around the world.