Film festival founder to speak at CLU

James Koenig to discuss Scandinavian movies

James Koenig will present “Scandinavian Film Festival L.A.: An Inside Look.”

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Oct. 25, 2012) The founder and longtime director of Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. will speak at California Lutheran University on Sunday, Nov. 11.

James Koenig will present “Scandinavian Film Festival L.A.: An Inside Look” at 3:30 p.m. in the Roth Nelson Room. He will discuss the history of the festival and the films now emerging from Scandinavian producers.

Since founding the festival 14 years ago, Koenig has been a frequent guest of film festivals in Scandinavia and has served on a number of festival juries. His interest in Nordic films began as a teenager when he first encountered the films of Ingmar Bergman and he became a frequent traveler to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland and Finland.

Best known as a professional singer, Koenig has appeared in operas, concerts and recitals around the United States, including in Carnegie Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and at venues in Scandinavia, Italy and Germany. Finnair sponsored his first recitals in Finland. Several of the recitals were fundraisers for Finlandia University, which awarded him its Finlandia Award. The Finnish government decorated him as a Knight of the Order of the Finnish Lion by for his work for Finnish music and culture.

Koenig grew up in Middle America as the youngest of five in a Lutheran clergy family and he has maintained an interest and involvement in church music. He has been a frequent guest conductor and clinician and has led workshops on liturgy and music. For seven years, he served as artist-in-residence director of music for the Episcopal Cathedral Center of Los Angeles. His choral works and liturgical pieces have been performed around the United States and in Europe.

He maintains a private vocal studio in Los Angeles and teaches in Italy in the summer. He also is an arts advocate, writer, director, commentator and nonprofit leader. He founded Urban Arts Atelier, a training and mentoring program for classical singers, and has been a presenter for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Upbeat Live pre-concert lecture series. He has written journalistic pieces for Odyssey Classical Music Publications in the United Kingdom and various publications in the United States.

The Roth Nelson Room is located on Mountclef Boulevard near Memorial Parkway on the Thousand Oaks campus.

The Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation and CLU’s Communication Department are sponsoring the free presentation. For more information, contact Mary Hekhuis at 805-497-1057.