photography by Jenny Rogers and Evan Rogers

Destination Luxury had the privilege of attending  Finland A’ La Carte in Bel-Air, California. The evening was an elegant experience held in a gorgeous mansion beneath the stars, the Official Residence of the Consul General of Finland, Honorable Juha Markkanen. Mr. Markkanen began is career as a diplomat in 1991 and has worked in Germany, Japan and Sweden. In 2013, he was appointed Consul General of Finland in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by Mr. Markkanen and his lovely wife Tuula.


The event was to benefit LACO (Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra). As the grand finale of the a la carte series, it bids farewell to LACO principal viola Roland Kato, who retired this fall. Kato leads fellow musicians in a grand performance of Finnish composer Ernst Mielck’s String quintet in F-major.

Mielck composed all his works in the short span of four years. His catalog includes a large number of works in the field of chamber music, including a string quintet and a string quartet. He also composed a symphony (1897), two overtures, a concert piece for piano and orchestra as well as one for violin and orchestra, the Finnish Suite, and two major vocal works in the German language.

Proceeds from LACO à la carte support education programs like Meet the Music. The program reaches 3,200 children from 40 schools across the greater Los Angeles County. The program fosters listening skills, encourages individual and group involvement in music making, and provides personal contact with musicians and composers. Age-appropriate Orchestra concerts in Zipper Hall at The Colburn School are supplemented by standards-based curriculum materials and classroom visits from knowledgeable volunteer docents.

Afterward, guests enjoyed a feast of traditional dishes from Finland with a modern, seasonal twist, prepared by Chef Sirpa Welch.


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