The Harriet Nielsen Winter Concert on Jan. 24 featured concerts by A.S.S. grant recipients Kaisa Mäensivu, who performed with her jazz quartet, and Norwegian classical pianist Tor Morten Kjøsnes. Both performances were respectfully framed with introductions by the evening’s emcee and two fine artists, Kamilla Talbot and Virva Hinnemo, also recipients of grants from the society.

The talented jazz guitarist Tomas Janzon, who received the society’s Lifetime Achievements Award, then performed with his trio prior to a reception in the downstairs gallery space of the Norwegian Seamen's Church. The extent to which volunteer efforts constantly succeed in creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere of friendship and trust, all bundled with drinks and Scandinavian flavored hors d’oevres, never fails to amaze us.

The annual concert, organized by American Scandinavian Society, was originally the brainchild of the late Harriet Nielsen, who wanted to brighten up the winter. This year was hosted by Lars Nielsen, president of the New York society and emceed by the Cultural Grants Chair Madeleine Kristoffersson. The concert has become the intended beacon of light during a slow and dark time of the year and also an opportunity to enjoy some of New York’s finest Scandinavian musicians on stage. Watch for other events by the New York based American Scandinavian Society, see http://americanscandinavian.org

Lars Nielsen, president of American Scandinavian Society with the society’s Cultural Grants Chair Madeleine Kristoffersson.