Congratulations to two of Finland’s foremost conductors (and most distinguished Sibelius interpreters), who have been appointed to prestigious new positions.
Sakari Oramo, principal conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and West Coast Kokkola Opera, has been appointed Professor of Orchestral Training and Orchestral Conducting at the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki for the five-year period (2020–24). He succeeds Atso Almila, who will retire when his term expires in 2019. Kaarlo Hildén, Dean of the Sibelius Academy, remarks: ‘We are privileged to have someone like Sakari take over this distinguished professorship.’ For further information click here.
Osmo Vänskä has been appointed as the honorary conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He has been the orchestra’s principal guest conductor since 2014, and from 1993 to 1996 was its chief conductor. Arna Kristín Einarsdóttir, executive director of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, commented: ‘It is a true honour for the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and a recognition of the work we do that Osmo Vänskä has accepted the title as our Honorary Conductor… He is, without a doubt, one of the most important conductors this orchestra works with. We certainly look forward to making music with Osmo in the future.’ For further information click here.
Osmo Vänskä has completed his second Sibelius symphony cycle on disc with the release of Symphonies Nos 3, 6 and 7.
He conducts the Minnesota Orchestra, of which he has been principal conductor since 2003, and this is the first of the team’s recordings to have been recorded after the end of the orchestra’s extended lock-out.
Vänskä’s previous Sibelius cycle, with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, was hailed in the magazine Gramophone as ‘the finest survey of the past three decades’.
The disc (BIS-2006), recorded in May/June 2015 in surround sound and released as a hybrid SACD, will be released internationally in August 2016 to coincide with the orchestra’s European tour, with performances in Lahti, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
A recording of Kullervo by the same musicians together with the YL Male Voice Choir and soloists Lilli Paasikivi and Tommi Hakala, made at live performances in Minnesota in February, is scheduled for release at the end of 2016.
Finally, on Thursday 12th May, Kamu will conduct Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with soloists Camilla Nylund, soprano, Tuija Knihtilä, mezzo-soprano, Mika Pohjonen, tenor and Mika Kares, bass, and the Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis. Further information and link to buy tickets: click here.
Kamu will be succeeded by Dima Slobodeniouk, who will conduct this year’s International Sibelius Festival in September. Sibelius One members who wish to join our group booking for the festival are asked to register their interest now. Click here for more information.
To mark Kalevala Day (Finnish Culture Day, 28 February), we have added a new text about Sibelius’s symphonic fantasia Pohjola’s Daughter to our library of articles about Sibelius’s music. Click here for the article.
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