All posts by sibelius

Rotterdam Sibelius Festival to continue

The Rotterdam Sibelius Festival, at which the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste, will continue with four more concerts in November/December 2019 at De Doelen in Rotterdam. Also performing will be the star violinist Baiba Skride and Finland’s world-famous YL Male Voice Choir under Pasi Hyökki.

The first four concerts, on 17 and 19 May, were a great success. A group of listeners from Sibelius One joined the audience at De Doelen to enjoy excellent performances of Sibelius’s Symphonies 1, 3 and 4, Humoresques, Finlandia, songs (with orchestra and with piano), violin music and piano music – plus some Finnish folk music.

On Friday 29 November there will be two concerts:
17.00 Baiba Skride, violin; members of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Sibelius Malinconia; Piano Quintet; Andante festivo
20.15 Baiba Skride, violin; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra / Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Sibelius Violin Concerto; Symphony No. 2

On Sunday 1 December there will be two more concerts:
14.15 Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra / Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Sibelius Symphonies Nos 5, 6 & 7
17.00 YL Male Voice Choir / Pasi Hyökki
Sibelius Choral Works
and Finnish folk music

Further details and tickets: click here

A group of Sibelius One members will be attending these concerts.

Sibelius 2 on original instruments

Photo: © Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Sibelius: States of Independence is the title of a concert by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Southbank Centre in London on 31 May 2019.

The concert rounds off the orchestra’s Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness season with the definitive musical celebration of freedom and liberty.

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment specializes in playing pieces of music on period-specific instruments to create unique performances. Thus Sibelius’s Second Symphony will be played on the instruments that Sibelius would have been writing for. This is the first time that Sibelius 2 will be performed on period instruments and promises to be a very exciting concert.

Conductor Vladimir Jurowski is joined by violinist Alina Ibragimova for an evening also featuring the music of Elgar and Richard Strauss.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Vladimir Jurowski conductor
Alina Ibragimova violin
Elgar: Serenade for strings
Richard Strauss: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op.8
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
Tickets reduced from £25 to £10 for Sibelius One members.
Click here for link to promo code.

All-Sibelius concerts in Stratford and Birmingham

A date for your diaries…

Intimate Voices is the title of an orchestral concert by the Orchestra of the Swan conducted by Tom Hammond, with Tamsin Waley-Cohen, violin, to be held at the Stratford Playhouse, Stratford-upon-Avon on 21 January 2020 and repeated at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on 22 January 2020.

The all-Sibelius programme includes works that are rarely heard in concert as well as favourites such as The Swan of Tuonela and the Seventh Symphony.

The Orchestra of the Swan was founded in 1995 and is based in Stratford-upon-Avon. It give over 45 concerts a year and has performed in China, Mexico, Turkey and the United States. It also has recorded extensively to great acclaim. The orchestra is passionate about promoting new music and has premièred more than 70 new works.

After his selection by Sir Charles Mackerras as the first Junior Fellow in Conducting at Trinity Laban Conservatoire (2006–08), Tom Hammond has developed a rich and musically diverse career. He has built a reputation for developing ensembles musically whilst engaging in thoughtful programming, championing living composers, developing relationships with outstanding soloists and establishing outreach programmes.

Former ECHO Rising Star Tamsin Waley-Cohen has established herself as one of the most insightful and versatile young British violinists. She has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Hallé Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko, RPO, LPO, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. She is a recording artist for Signum records

Sibelius              The Swan of Tuonela (Lemminkäinen Suite)
Sibelius              The Tempest Suite No. 2
Sibelius              Four Humoresques for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 89
Sibelius              Kuolema: Scene with Cranes
Sibelius              Symphony No. 7

Tickets can already be ordered online:
Click here for Stratford tickets
Click here for Birmingham tickets



‘The Silence’ launch event

At 7 pm on Saturday 13 July 2019 at St Mary’s Church, Islington, a launch event will be held for John Greening’s collection of poetry The Silence (published by Carcanet), which concentrates on Jean Sibelius and his struggle with the Eighth Symphony.

This launch is free to attend, but please reserve a place via Eventbrite (click here for more information and reservation link). There is also a Facebook page. The event will include reading from John Greening, as well as music from the Dryad String Quartet (from Sibelius’s Voces intimae). There will be the opportunity to ask questions, and refreshments will be sold. For each copy of the book sold, £1 will be donated to Hospice Care Kenya. Please direct any queries to The evening is co-hosted by Poetry in the Crypt.

The title poem is a meditation on Sibelius and the thirty years he spent grappling with an eighth symphony that he eventually burned. The poem is emblematic of a broader concern with the mystery of the creative process, explored in the work of other artists but also grappled with first-hand, in the composition of poems.

More information about the collection can be found at the publisher’s website (click here) and the volume can be pre-ordered on Amazon (click here).

Sibelius Festival Golfo del Tigullio e Rivieria 2019

The fifth Sibelius Festival Golfo del Tigullio e Rivieria in Italy will take place from 27 September until 13 October 2019. Its artistic director is Federico Ermirio.

Artists performing include the Myrsky Sring Quartet, Andrea Carcano, Paolo Restani and Folke Gräsbeck (piano), Eva Alkula and Jenny Vartiainen (kantele), Irene Cerboncini (soprano) and the Symphony Orchestra of La Spezia Conservatory conducted by Giovanni Di Stefano.

Further information will be posted in due course.

Sibelius at the 2019 Proms

Royal Albert Hall, London (Photo by David Iliff. Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Programmes for the 2019 BBC Proms season have been announced. For Sibelius enthusiasts the season is notable for including a rarity of exceptional importance: the four-movement 1915 version of the Fifth Symphony.

Sibelius is represented at the following concerts:

Wednesday 31 July 2019, 7.30 pm, Royal Albert Hall: Prom 17
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 1
Sergei Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2
ichard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier – Suite
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Mariss Jansons
Lisa Batiashvili, violin
Seats £18 to £72 (plus booking fee)

Saturday 3 August 2019, 7.30 pm, Royal Albert Hall: Prom 20
Violinist Pekka Kuusisto traces the evolution of Finland’s classical tradition, from improvised folk beginnings to the sophisticated brilliance of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. The concert closes with the rarely heard original version of the Fifth Symphony.
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 (original version, 1915)
Pekka Kuusisto, violin
Taito Hoffrén, Ilona Korhonen, Minna-Liisa Tammela, singers

Vilma Timonen, kantele; Timo Alakotila, harmonium
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Thomas Dausgaard
Seats £7.50 to £41 (plus booking fee)

Tuesday 6 August 2019, 7.30 pm, Royal Albert Hall: Prom 25
Jean Sibelius: Karelia Suite
Mieczysław Weinberg: Cello Concerto
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, ‘Pathétique’
BBC Symphony Orchestra / Dalia Stasevska
Sol Gabetta, cello
Seats £9.50 to £52 (plus booking fee)

Modest Mussorgsky: A Night on the Bare Mountain (orch. Rimsky-Korsakov)
Louis Andriessen: The Only One
Judith Weir: Forest
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 (final version, 1919)
BBC Symphony Orchestra / Srkari Oramo
Nora Fischer, singer
Seats £7.50 to £41 (plus booking fee)

General booking opens 0n 11 May 2019. For further information click here to go to the Proms website.

New: Sibelius Reconsidered

Jean Sibelius, 1939 (Photo: Public Domain)

A new addition to the Sibelius One website is Sibelius Reconsidered, presenting papers from the Fifth International Jean Sibelius Conference, held in September 2010 in Oxford, UK. Included here are in-depth articles by leading scholars on Sibelius reception, analyses and sketch studies of his works, discussions of his position in the early 20th-century music as well as his relationship to the political events of his time.

The papers may be downloaded free of charge.

Authors who have contributed papers are:
Barry Wiener; Ilkka Oramo; Timothy L. Jackson; Veijo Murtomäki; Antti Vihinen; Folke Gräsbeck; Tim Howell; Marc Vignal; Mart Humal; Sakari Ylivuori; Ron Weidberg; Timo Virtanen; Colin Davis; Tuija Wicklund; Nors S. Josephson; Olli Väisälä; Les Black; Kerri Kotta

Click here to visit this section of the website and download the articles.

Sibelius concert in Wells

A concert focusing on Sibelius’s music for violin and piano will be given at Cedars Hall, Wells Cathedral School, on Sunday 5 May 2019 by two of Britain’s outstanding recitalists, Fenella Humphreys and Joseph Tong.

Described in the press as ‘alluring’ and ‘unforgettable’, Fenella Humphreys is one of the UK’s most established and versatile violinists. The award-winning British pianist Joseph Tong enjoys a busy and varied career as soloist, duo pianist, chamber musician, festival director and teacher. Both have wide experience of performing the music of Sibelius, which they have recorded to great acclaim.

Works by Sibelius share the programme with the lush mysticism of Rautavaara and Arvo Pärt’s famous, breath-catching meditation on reflection, Spiegel im Spiegel.

The concert is sponsored by Sibelius One and will also be recorded for issue on CD.

Date and time: Sunday 5 May 2019 at 8 pm
Venue: Cedars Hall, Wells Cathedral School, College Road, Wells BA5 2ST (directions: click here)
Tickets: £10.00 (under-25s free). Click here to book.

Discount for Sibelius One members:
Click here for more information.

Sibelius Five Piece, Op. 81
Sibelius Andante Cantabile, JS 33
Sibelius Four Pieces, Op. 78
Rautavaara Summer Thoughts
Spiegel im Spiegel
Danses champêtres, Op. 106
Sibelius Four Pieces, Op. 115
Sibelius Three Pieces, Op. 116

Click here to download concert poster.

New Sibelius cycle from North Korea

The first CD release in what will be a complete cycle of Sibelius symphonies has been announced by the Grand Philharmonic Symphonic Society Orchestra of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea conducted by Kim Tik-tok.

The orchestra is newly established and is only the second large orchestra of Western style in North Korea, alongside the State Symphony Orchestra of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The first disc will include Symphony No. 2. To quote a press release: ‘Grand Philharmonic Symphonic Society Orchestra of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea makes known to all dongmu in People’s Republic for the first time music of Finnish SIBELIUS Jean-Christian-Julius. Sibelius is in Finland very famous. His Second Symphony is a revolting work, Finnish people against Russia.’

For details of availability or to order the CD, please click here.