Muse Ukraine; Indomitable Spirit – charitable concert

Muse Ukraine concert poster

The Finnish Embassy is hosting a charitable concert in co-operation with British-Ukrainian Aid.

Date / Time / Venue:
13 September 2023, 19:00, Finnish Ambassador’s Residence,
14 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QP, London

‘Muse Ukraine: Indomitable Spirit’ will highlight the musical and cultural heritage of Ukraine, as performed by Ukrainian-American violinist Myroslava Khomik and Finnish-British pianist Julia Wallin, who believe that the power of music can serve as the best communicative tool in most challenging times. The programme will include musuc by Sibelius and long-lost Ukrainian gems

All proceeds from the concert will be donated to British-Ukrainian Aid to support relief and rescue operations in Ukraine.

Tickets and more information: click here.


Karelia Overture and Suite: newly discovered version to be performed

Karelia - score page
A score page from ‘Karelia’ (photo: Tuomas Hannikainen)

‘I’ll send you my Suite in a few days. It is revised, but for the concert hall. If it sounds good, you can do it in the Philharmonie. It’s eminently sellable, I think.’ Sibelius wrote this in November 1894, in a letter to his friend Adolf Paul in Berlin, referring to a hitherto unknown version of the Karelia Overture and Suite, which will be performed at the 2023 Helsinki Festival. The concert by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Tuomas Hannikainen, who identified the Sibelius score in the manuscript collections of the National Library of Finland in the spring of 2023.

The score was part of a donation to the National Library from the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE in 2010, but its the early history is still unclear; it is undated but (not least on the basis of the letter to Paul) is believed to have been prepared in 1894. According to Hannikainen, the score appears to be a fair copy that could be sent to a publisher. Sibelius’s heirs have suggested that the YLE manuscript could be referred to as ‘Karelia Concert Version 1894’. The familiar Overture and Suite were published in 1906 and it is not known why the revisions contained in the Concert Version 1894 were not used for publication.

Timo Virtanen, editor-in-chief of the Jean Sibelius Works critical edition, remarks: ‘the manuscript of the Karelia Overture (preserved in YLE archives still in 2003) was mentioned in Fabian Dahlström’s catalogue [Sibelius-Werkverzeichnis – Thematisch-bibliographisches Verzeichnis seiner Werke 2003], but the other three Karelia movements were not. Tuomas Hannikainen was the first who compared the manuscript (‘YLE’) version of Karelia Overture and the three suite movements with the published (Breitkopf & Härtel) score and brought the differences to light. Although the Overture in the YLE manuscript is only three bars longer than the published version, there are some interesting differences: Sibelius incorporated in the YLE manuscript materials which he eventually excluded in the published version. Differences between the other movements in the YLE manuscript and those in the published score are (apart from the harp part in Ballad) more in the details of instrumentation, dynamics and articulation.’

Tuomas Hannikainen
Tuomas Hannikainen (photo: © Matti Häyrynen)

Tuomas Hannikainen explains that the Concert Version 1894 is ‘altogether more serious, more noble, with richer orchestration’ and points out that the Overture has an impressive culmination, more like a tone poem than a piece of tableau music. In the Suite, the most obvious differences are in the Ballade, which is livelier, with many changes of tempo; it also features a harp in place of pizzicato strings in the concluding section (in the original tableau score this was a song, Dansen i rosenlund).

We do not know whether the newly discovered verion of Karelia was ever performed. In Tuomas Hannikainen’s opinion, it is unlikely that the Overture was played in concert. It is so different from the published version that it would have needed a totally new set of parts, and no such parts have yet been found. The other movements, however, most probably were played. Hannikainen has found several early orchestral parts that include corrections that correspond with the Concert Version 1894 manuscript. Sibelius even made some of these corrections in parts for the published version, so after 1906.

The previously unknown version of Karelia will be performed at the Helsinki Festival’s matinée concert in the Great Hall of the University of Helsinki on Saturday, 26 August at 3 pm. The programme includes an introduction that sheds light on the content of the score. Another Sibelius rarity will also be played: the Concert Overture (The Maiden in the Tower) discovered by Hannikainen in 2018, which will be heard for the first time as a live public concert performance since the early 1900s (see also: Sibelius One Magazine, July 2023).

Click here to buy tickets for the concert.

Sibelius One AGM 2023

AGM at Hesan kamari

All members are welcome to Sibelius One’s Annual General Meeting 2023, which will take place at Hesan kamari, Ainola, Järvenpää, Finland at 12 noon on Friday 8 September 2023.

Members attending the Lahti Sibelius Festival can travel together by train.

If travelling independently please note that the Ainola railway station will be closed for track work between 19 June and 9 December 2023. A replacement bus service will operate from Järvenpää station (click here for info). Please allow extra time for the journey.

We are grateful to Julia Donner and the staff at Ainola for generously allowing us to use Hesan kamari for our AGM.

Click here to download agenda


Swanwhite – original incidental music

Sketch for Swanwhite made in 1901 by Arthur Sjögren
Sketch for Swanwhite made in 1901 by Arthur Sjögren (1874–1951)
Nordiska museets arkiv. CC BY-NC-ND-4.0. Image straightened.

Eija Kurki’s article ‘Sibelius’s Swanwhite – the original incidental music’ is now available to read or download on this website. The article discusses the context of the music, its location and function within Strindberg’s play and the orchestral suite.

Eija Kurki published her dissertation Satua, kuolemaa ja eksotiikkaa. Jean Sibeliuksen vuosisadan alun näyttämömusiikkiteokset (Fairy-tale, Death and Exoticism. Jean Sibelius’s Theatre Music from the Beginning of the 20th Century) in 1997. She has written numerous articles in various specialist publications both in Finland and internationally. This article is based on her Master’s degree in musicology and theatre research at Helsinki University in 1994, ‘August Strindbergin ja Jean Sibeliuksen Joutsikki’ (‘Swanwhite by August Strindberg and Jean Sibelius’).

Click here to read or download the article.

Sibelius’s ‘Finlandia’ barn for sale

Sibelius’s barn for sale

The barn attached to the Mattila house in Kerava, where Sibelius lived between June 1899 and the summer of 1902, is for sale.

This is a unique opportunity to own a building that is closely linked to an iconic piece of music and a vital period of Finnish cultural history.

The barn is sold with a building plot (2,300 square metres) and comes with outline building permission for a 220 square metre house. The barn is in the Kytömaa area of Kerava, an area that is currently undergoing considerable new development. It is approximately 2 km north-east of the town centre.

Sibelius’s ‘Finlandia’ barn

According to the advertising board, the agent responsible is Raija Nyström/UpHouse, tel.: 00358 500 403022 / email

At the Mattila house Sibelius worked on a number of significant works, most notable Finlandia and the First and Second Symphonies. The famous songs Svarta rosor, Säv, säv, susa and Demanten på marssnön were all written there. It has been claimed that Sibelius found inspiration for Demanten på marssnön as he was admiring the glistering snow-covered fields outside the Mattila house in the spring sunshine.

For more information about Sibelius and Kerava, see the Janaury 2021 issue of our Magazine. Members can download a pdf version free – click here.

Sibelius One Magazine – July 2023

Magazine 2023-07

The July 2023 edition of Sibelius One’s magazine is now being sent out to subscribers.

Articles planned for this issue:
— Sibelius and Vaughan Williams – Symphonic Synergies  Douglas Whittet
Sibelius’s ‘Swanwhite’ – the original incidental music  Eija Kurki
‘The stage works are not B-level symphonic works’  Tuomas Hannikainen
— Finlandia
– Anthem, Hymn or What?  Kornel Kossuth
Two Poems by Hilary Finch

To subscribe or order a copy, please click here to visit the Magazine page of this website.

Sibelius i Korpo 2023

Archipelago landscape, Korpo
The young Sibelius was inspired by the archipelago landscape

The 22nd ‘Sibelius i Korpo’ Festival will take place on 14–16 July 2023.

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Sibelius in his composition workshop’. In addition, the music selected marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Édouard Lalo and the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Rachmaninov.

On Friday 14 July there will be two evening concerts at Korpo gård, the first (6 pm) featuring Sibelius’s suite to Belshazzar’s Feast, and the second (8 pm) with the title ‘Valse triste by night’.

On Saturday 15 July there will be an afternoon concert (3 pm) on the island of Norrskata, with Sibelius’s ‘Hafträsk’ Trio, which was composed on that island in 1886. This will be followed by an evening concert at Korpo gård (6 pm) including music for violin and piano, the Op. 75 piano pieces (‘The Trees’) and musical fragments associated with the lost Eighth Symphony. The Symphony will also be the subject of a panel discussion.

On Sunday 16 July there will be the traditional celebratory address at the Sibelius monument in the centre of Korpo village (12 noon), followed by a concluding concert at Korpo gård including more music for violin and piano, a talk by Satu Jalas and the piano version of Finlandia.

The festival’s general manager is Petri Kirkkomäki, and its artistic director is Sibelius One president Folke Gräsbeck.

Korpo gård

Performers this year:

Satu Jalas, violin (Sibelius’s granddaughter)
Fenella Humphreys, violin
Olivier Pons, violin

Helen Lindén-Pons, cello

Folke Gräsbeck, piano
Joseph Tong, piano

Petri Kirkkomäki, baritone

In addition, Sibelius One’s general manager Andrew Barnell will speak about the ‘Hafträsk’ Trio.

Provisional list of works to be performed:

Friday 14 July (6 pm)

Jean Sibelius
Belshazzar’s Feast, Suite, for piano

Édouard Lalo
Cello Concerto: Prélude. Lento – Allegro maestoso, for cello and piano

Jean Sibelius
Scène d’amour from Scaramouche for violin and piano
Cantique for cello and piano
Valse lyrique (arr. Emil Kauppi) for piano trio
Novellette for violin and piano
Four pieces from The Tempest for piano

Friday 14 July (8 pm)

Edvard Grieg
Violin Sonata No. 2

Jean Sibelius
Tempo di valse, JS 2, for piano
Tempo di valse, JS 193 (reconstructed by Kalevi Aho), for cello & piano
Trånaden, JS 203, for piano
Valse triste for piano

Saturday 15 July (3 pm)

Jean Sibelius
Menuetto in D minor for violin and piano
‘Hafträsk’ Trio
Impromptus Nos 1 & 2 for piano

Édouard Lalo
Symphonie espagnole: I. Allegro non troppo; IV. Andante
for violin and piano

Sergei Rachmaninov
Trio élégiaque

Saturday 15 July (6 pm)

Jean Sibelius
Four Pieces, Op. 78, for violin and piano
Five Pieces, Op. 75 (‘The Trees’) for piano
Five Pieces, Op. 81, for violin and piano
Fragments associated with Symphony No. 8, and panel dicussion
Landscape II, two sketches (1928–29) for piano
Song in the Forest, Op. 114 No. 4 (1929, first version) for piano, world premiere
Four Pieces, Op. 115, for violin and piano
Three Pieces, Op. 116, for violin and piano

Sunday 16 July (12 noon)

Celebratory address with Petri Kirkkomäki (who will also song) and Andrew Barnett

Sunday 16 July (3 pm)

Jean Sibelius
‘Korpo’ Trio (movements 2 & 3)
Tanz-Idyll, Op. 79 No.5
Humoresques Nos 4 & 5 (arr. Karl Ekman)
Three excerpts from ‘A Catalogue of Themes’ for piano
Suite in E major for violin and piano
Andante cantabile for violin and piano
Finlandia for piano

Click here for the Festival’s website (currently being updated)





Luukas Hiltunen’s arrangement of ‘The Tempest’ published

Luukas Hiltunen holding score

The arrangement for chamber music ensemble by Luukas Hiltunen of selected movements from Sibelius’s The Tempest (1925–26) (see earlier post here), commissioned by the Ruovesi Summer Music Festival, has been published by Edition Wilhelm Hansen.

The arrangement comprises the following movements:
1. The Oak Tree, from Op. 109 No. 2
2. The Harvesters, from Op. 109 No. 2
3. Berceuse, from Op. 109,No. 2
4. Chorus of the Winds, Op. 109 No. 3
5. Dance of the Nymphs, from Op. 109 No. 3
6. Prospero, from Op. 109 No. 3
7. Miranda, from Op. 109 No. 3
8. The Naiads, from Op. 109 No. 3

The new arrangements will be premiered at a concert on Sunday 2 July 2023 at 4 pm at Sofia Magdalena Church, Ruovesi, Finland.
Tickets are on sale from Friday 10 March 2023 via
More details (in Finnish):

To hire performance materials (WH33640):–Jean-Sibelius/

Contact information, Luukas Hiltunen:
UE (Universal Edition AG) Composer Profile:
Instagram: @luukas_hiltunen_composer