photo: Zolton Cohen

photo: Zolton Cohen

             Sara Pajunen is a Minneapolis-based violinist, composer, and creator. Described as ‘an amazingly versatile musician who now counts among the most ambitious and notable practitioners of Finnish folk music outside of Finland,’ Pajunen has formed three touring ensembles surrounding her Finnish heritage, recorded four albums that blend old and new within unique sound, and currently tours and teaches in the United States and Europe. 

Pajunen’s work is an investigation into family, culture, ancestry - and essentially, self. Certain questions constantly prod evolution: how are we similar through our differences? What are the greater arcs throughout time, regardless of place? How are we aided and/or inhibited by culture? These questions are currently finding new form in a solo project entitled Laatikko/Box, which blends archival material, audio interviews, music and field recordings to create a contemplative sound piece on the universality of change. The Laatikko/Box album was released January 2017. 

Pajunen earned classical music degrees in both the United States and Finland, and her work has received funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, and Koneen Säätiö. She is the 2015/16 Finlandia Foundation Performer of the Year.