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Maria Kalaniemi & Timo Alakotila / Finland

Maria Kalaniemi is an acclaimed European instrumentalists on the world music scene, and one of the most important Finnish artists working today.

Her own albums and the stunning results of collaborations with other artists are impressive achievements. Kalaniemi is a virtuoso of diatonic accordion. She was a member of the much-admired, pioneering groups Niekku and Aldargaz, both of which carved new paths in Finnish music. She graduated from the Faculty of Folk Music at the Sibelius Academy, where she now teaches. Her artistic inspiration is rooted in folk and classical music, yet her skills and sensitivity reach far beyond genre boundaries.

She has a dazzling technique and an outstanding feel for improvisation. The majority of her recordings are of her own compositions. Her works are disciplined and well thought-out, as well as being filled with lyricism, subtlety and melodic finesse. Her discography includes “Iho”, “Ahma” and “Below Poetry”; the latter was mainly recorded solo with some support from the guitarist Olli Varis. Her audiences admire her own compositions and her outstanding artistic collaborations. Particularly notable is Kalaniemi’s participation in the international formation Accordion Tribe, bringing together five acclaimed accordionists from around the globe (including Guy Klucevsek and Lars Hollmer).

Timo Alakotila who joins Kalaniemi on stage in Kraków has been her regular musical partner for two decades, performing alongside her in Aldargaz and in her solo ventures.

Even after all these years, their artistic understanding and staggering virtuosity are as fascinating as the refinement and melodiousness of their compositions and arrangements.

Maria Kalaniemi - accordion
Timo Alakotila - piano

The concert took place in 2015.

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