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VIP Biography for
Wilho F. Saari

Wilho F. Saari PhotoWilho F. Saari
IndustryPerforming Arts
TitleWriter, Performer
ExpertiseMusic composition and performance
Type of OrganizationPerforming arts
Major ProductKantele music
Area of DistributionInternational
University/DegreeB.A., Sacred Music; B.A., Music Education, Northwest College
Honors & AwardsAwarded the Governor's Heritage Award for his work popularizing and teaching the kantele; one of ten recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) award of an NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the country's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts
Published WorksMusic CD's including Kantele Songs of Praise and Vilhon Vintiltä; 4000+ compositions in progress
AffiliationsFinnish American Festival, Finnish American Historical Society
Career AccomplishmentsHe is a fifth-generation Finnish American player of the kantele, the Finnish psaltery. Kreeta Haapasalo, a well-known kantele player in Finland in the 19th century, was his great-great grandmother. He performed at FinnFest USA '06, an annual national festival, where he participated in the world premiere of a Kantele Mass composed by Jarkko Yli-Annala.
Work HistoryGrade school teacher for 34 years including 3 years in Liberia, Africa in a missions school and 23 years at Naselle Youth Camp School
ChildrenRiki Saari, Karen Nelson; 6 grandchildren
SpouseKaisa Saari
MarriedJune 21, 1957
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