"Laurin Sottiisi" (Lauri's Schottische") performed by Richard Koski, Michael Ludgate and Katrina Mackey


Richard Koski, Michael Ludgate and Katrina Mackey perform "Laurin Sottiisi" ("Lauri's Schottische") as part of a 2018 NYSCA Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant.


In 2018, Richard Koski received a Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant from the New York State Council on the Arts to teach mandolinist Michael Ludgate and fiddler Katrina Mackey how to play Finnish-American dance tunes. Koski is a master artist and diatonic button accordionist from Trumansburg, NY. Many of these tunes were performed at Finnish social gatherings in the Finger Lakes from the 1910s to the present. Although a Finnish cultural group called the Finger Lakes Finns exists today, there is hardly anyone left who knows the old music. These tunes are some of the approximately 100 Finnish tunes that Richard grew up hearing his father, William Koski play. Around 1970, Richard started actively playing with his dad and learning the tunes. Inspired by their Finnish heritage to learn more about traditional music and dance of Finland, Katrina and Michael formed the band Metku. As part of the apprenticeship, they transcribed all the tunes Richard taught them, creating a written record for future generations.

"Laurin Sottiisi" ("Lauri's Schottische") is performed in the key of D. It's another one of the tunes RTichard learned from his dad, who didn't know the names of most of the tunes he played. Richard later found it on an old Finnish American 78 rpm as "Laurin Sottiisi." One another recording it was listed as "Jukkan Sottiisi." Richard says, "Sometimes what we think of as Finnish folk tunes, especially the schottisches it seems, are found in other Nordic countries under Swedish or Norwegian names."

From The Artist/Community : 


Richard discusses "Laurin Sottiisi", by artscouncilofthesouthernfingerlakes


Michael Ludgate talking about his apprenticeship with Richard Koski, by artscouncilofthesouthernfingerlakes

Trumansburg, NY