The Chester Philharmonic Orchestra will perform an all-Sibelius concert at Chester Cathedral on Saturday 29 April 2017 at 7.30 pm to mark the centenary this year of Finland’s independence. The orchestra is proud and honoured to be appointed as an official partner by the Finnish Government in the anniversary celebrations. The participation of the acclaimed Dutch violinist Olivia Doflein and the engagement of the Italian Marco Bellasi as conductor reflect the international emphasis of this event.
The Chester Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1884, is one of the premier non-professional orchestras in north-west England. The orchestra has a large playing membership enabling it to perform most pieces within the symphonic repertoire. The orchestra usually gives four or five concerts a year, usually in the magnificent setting of Chester’s ancient Cathedral.
Olivia Doflein (1989), originally from the Netherlands, moved to London in 2009 to study at the Royal College of Music. She has won first prizes at several competitions and has participated in masterclasses with Zakhar Bron, Shlomo Mintz, Gordan Nicolic, Alina Ibragimova and Pavel Vernikov. She made her professional solo débuts in the UK and Germany in the 2014–15 season. She has since performed regularly as a soloist throughout the UK and the Netherlands. She is an enthusiastic chamber musician who has performed at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Muziekgebouw Frits Philips Eindhoven, Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall.
Prize-winning conductor Marco Bellasi has worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Hallé Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and Ensemble 10/10, the official chamber orchestra of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He graduated in conducting from the Milan Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in 2007. His conducting début was in Milan with a fully staged production of Puccini’s La Bohème. His repertoire includes symphonic, opera and contemporary music.
Chester Philharmonic Orchestra Marco Bellasi, conductor Olivia Doflein, violin
Chester Cathedral, Saturday 29 April 2017 at 7.30 p.m. Sibelius: Finlandia Sibelius: Violin Concerto Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 Ticket information: click here.
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.
The choral suite Rakastava was originally composed for tenor and male choir in 1894; this arrangement for soprano, baritone and mixed choir dates from four years later. The first version was composed for a competition organized by the YL choir, in which it won second prize, and the mixed-choir version was made for a volume in the collection Sävelistö. Many years later Sibelius transformed the choral work into a delicate and highly regarded suite for string orchestra, triangle and timpani.
The Five Esquisses were written in 1929 and are Sibelius’s last opus-numbered piano works. In these pieces Sibelius explores a new, bolder harmonic language. The titles of the pieces all allude in some way to nature, though the music contains few specifically pictorial elements. They do not share any thematic material, but are nonetheless closely related in mood and texture.
This week’s free download from Classical-Music.com, the official website of BBC Music Magazine, is the Allegro from Sibelius’s String Quartet in D minor, ‘Voces intimae’. Performed by the Ehnes Quartet, the recording received a four-star review in the February issue of BBC Music Magazine.
In anticipation of the third Sibelius Festival – Golfo del Tigullio e Riviera, which will take place in October 2017, the AkREibA Association is presenting a series of four lectures, as a preview of the festival.
The first will be given by Prof. Ferruccio Tammaro, one of the greatest Italian musicologists (University of Turin).
‘THE SEA IN THE NORDIC SYMPHONIC MUSIC’
Saturday 1 April, 5 pm, ‘Spazio Aperto’ Hall, Via dell’Arco, Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy
8 April, 5 pm, with Valentina Lo Surdo (musicologist and journalist with RAI)
29 April, 5 pm, with Roberto Iovino (director of the Genoa Conservatory)
6 May, 5 pm, with Federico Ermirio (artistic director of the festival, composer)
The letters show the development of a deep friendship that started in the 1880s at the Helsinki Music Institute. Adolf Paul settled in Berlin and chose to become an author rather than a musician; he played an important role when Sibelius was establishing contact with German music publishers.
Adolf Paul (born in Bromö, Sweden 1863, died in Berlin 1943) is today best known for his friendship with artists and writers such as August Strindberg, Edvard Munch and Knut Hamsun. He wrote in German and Swedish. Sibelius wrote music for his plays King Christian II (1898) and The Language of the Birds (1912).
In their letters Sibelius and Paul discuss everything from financial problems and family matters to their current projects and publishing contacts.
Fabian Dahlström is professor emeritus of musicology at Åbo Akademi, where he worked from 1973 until 1993. He has published the pioneering catalogue of Sibelius’s music with commentaries Jean Sibelius: Thematisch-bibliographisches Verzeichnis seiner Werke (Breitkopf & Härtel 2003) and was editor-in-chief of the critical edition of Jean Sibelius’s music from 1994 until 2000. In 2005 his edition of Sibelius’s diaries (Jean Sibelius dagbok 1909–1944) was published by SLS, followed in 2010 by his edition of the correspondence between Sibelius and Axel Carpelan, Högtärade Maestro! Högtärade Herr Baron! In addition Fabian Dahlström, who has also appeared as a clarinettist and recorder player, is the author of numerous other historical works and musical editions (on subjects including the clarinettist and composer Bernhard Henrik Crusell), and he has contributed to the major reference work Suomen musiikin historia.
The acclaimed pianist Joseph Tong will give a concert at St John’s Smith Square, London, on 20 September 2017 to mark the launch of his second Sibelius piano music CD.
The provisional programme is:
Grieg Stimmungen, Op. 73 Schumann Fantasie in C major, Op. 17 Sibelius Valse triste, Op. 44 Sibelius 5 Characteristic Impressions, Op. 103 Sibelius Sonata in F major, Op. 12
Ticket prices and further details will be confirmed later.
The previous CD in the series contains the following repertoire: Kyllikki; Five Pieces (‘The Trees’); Five Pieces (‘The Flowers’); Five Romantic Pieces, Op. 101; Five Esquisses, Op. 114; Two Rondinos; Finlandia (Quartz QTZ 2111).
Breitkopf & Härtel have made the Urtext of one of Sibelius’s most popular piano pieces, the Romance in D flat major, Op. 24 No. 9, available separately.
The ten pieces that make up Op. 24 were composed between 1895 and 1903 and include some of the finest examples of nationalistic romanticism in Sibelius’s piano œuvre. The Romance in D flat major is the ninth piece in the set and was composed in 1901 as a Christmas gift for Axel Carpelan.
An exhibition is being mounted at Järvenpää Art Museum focusing on Elisabeth Järnefelt (1839–1929), ‘the mother of Finnish art and culture’, and Jean Sibelius’s mother-in-law.
Born in St Petersburg, Elisabeth married August Alexander Järnefelt in 1857 and settled with him in Helsinki. Among their children were the writer Arvid, the painter Erik and the conductor and composer Armas. Their daughter Aino married Jean Sibelius. Elisabeth Järnefelt was also a good friend of the writer Juhani Aho. Elisabeth Järnefelt became a central figure in Finnish culture, hosting a salon in Helsinki, centred around Nordic, Finnish and Russian literature but also discussing politics, religion and equality. She promoted the Finnish language and was a follower of the Tolstoyan movement.
The exhibition runs for most of Finland’s centenary year, from 11 February until 1 October 2017. On display are works of art, photographs and other artefacts relating to the fascinating story of Elisabeth Järnefelt’s life; there will also be video presentations.
During the exhibition’s run there will be a number of additional lectures and presentations on various topics.
Address: Järvenpään taidemuseo / Järvenpää Art Museum,
Finland E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel.: 00358-40 315 3881 Opening times: February–April: Weds–Sun 10am–5pm
May–September: Tues–Sun 11am–6pm Entrance: €7/6/4 or with Museum Card
Sibelius One’s January 2017 magazine has been sent out to subscribers (despatched on Monday 23 January). Articles in this issue:
Jean Sibelius and Finnish Culture –
the changing significance of Finlandia Hannu Salmi
Greetings from Hämeenlinna Erkki Korhonen
Kullervo goes to Minnesota Robert Suff
Setting the Record Straight About Ian Maxwell’s Sibelius discography
Playing Sibelius under Paavo Berglund
(and a few other conductors) Philip Borg-Wheeler
Maestro Sibelius Peter Frankland
To subscribe to the magazine, make sure you select the ‘printed copies’ option when joining Sibelius One (just £5 for two issues).
If you would like to add the magazine to your existing subscription, or to purchase individual copies of this issue or back issues (£5 each plus postage – also available to non-members) please contact email@example.com