Folke Gräsbeck becomes President of Sibelius One

Folke Gräsbeck (photo: © Veli-Pekka Väisänen)

Sibelius One is delighted to announce that Folke Gräsbeck has become President of Sibelius One. He was elected unanimously by those present at Sibelius One’s AGM in Hesan kamari, Ainola, Finland on 1 September 2022.

Folke Gräsbeck is the second person to hold the post of President, succeeding John Davis who passed away in 2021.

A leading pianist and Sibelius scholar of worldwide renown, Folke Gräsbeck studied at the Turku Conservatory under Tarmo Huovinen and won the Maj Lind Competition in 1973, when he was seventeen. On several study trips to London he had private lessons with Maria Curcio-Diamand. He gained a Master of Music degree from the Sibelius Academy in 1997, and became a Doctor of Music in 2008 (topic: ‘The Piano in Sibelius’s Youth Production’). Between 1985 and 2017 he was a lecturer and chamber pianist at the Sibelius Academy. He has performed in many countries including the USA, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Japan and China. He has also performed at concerts organized by Sibelius One.

He has performed more than 400 of Sibelius’s total of around 600 works, and is one of the central interpreters in BIS Records’ Complete Sibelius Edition, where he participates on 24 discs including the complete solo piano music (10 CDs), the Piano Quintet (‘Best Recording’, American Record Guide), solo songs, chamber music and choral works.

Gräsbeck has been artistic director of the Sibelius in Korpo Festival since its inception in 2002. He was decorated with the Cross of Merit of the Order of the Lion of Finland in 2009 and received the Sibelius Medal in 2014.

Folke Gräsbeck (left) addressing Sibelius One members in Lahti, 2022

Finnish Cloudberries in Amsterdam

A concert of Finnish chamber music, ‘Finnish Cloudberries’, will be given at 8 pm on Saturday 5 November 2022 at the Zuiderkerk, Amsterdam.

Four works by Sibelius are included:
Piano Trio in A minor, ‘Hafträsk’
Vattendroppar for violin & cello
‘Lulu’ Waltz for cello & piano
Malinconia for cello & piano
as well as Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Lachen verlernt for solo violin and Aarre Merikanto’s Piano Trio in A minor

Tobias Borsboom, piano
Tosca Opdam, violin
Pamela Smits, cello

Tickets available at the door or online:

Click here for concert flyer (pdf).

Finlandia Hymn for violin and piano

Duo Lehtinen & Lipasti
Duo Lehtinen & Lipasti

In November 2021 the composer and arranger Luukas Hiltunen was commissioned by Duo Lehtinen & Lipasti to prepare an arrangement for violin and piano of Jean Sibelius’s Finlandia Hymn. Sibelius himself made a piano transcription of the Finlandia in its entirety, published by Breitkopf & Härtel. In his old age he also made vocal and choral versions of the hymn section with texts by Wäinö Sola and V.A. Koskenniemi. Luukas Hiltunen’s arrangement of the hymn for violin and piano, the first for this combination of instruments, is based on mainly the composer’s own piano version, with reference to the version for symphony orchestra in order to achieve more sonorous and expressive results.

Duo Lehtinen & Lipasti is a collaboration between Pauliina Lehtinen and Sakari Lipasti. Pauliina Lehtinen is a violinist, chamber musician and orchestral player who has been a member of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish National Opera Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. She studied in Italy and Sweden and has been a pupil of Mi-Kyung Lee, Pavel Vernikov and Hagai Shaham. Pianist Sakari Lipasti studied at the Sibelius Academy where his teachers included Juhani Lagerspetz. He gives numerous concerts as a recitalist, chamber musician and Lieder accompanist, has enjoyed success in numerous competitions and teaches the piano at the Sastamala College of Music.

The first performance of this new arrangement will take place on Saturday 20 August 2022 at 3 pm, at a concert in the Kangasalan Lepokoti in Kangasala near Tampere, the opening event of a concert tour in Pirkanmaa.

More information about Luukas Hiltunen:
UE (Universal Edition AG Wien) Composer Profile:
Instagram: @luukas_hiltunen_composer
Twitter: @hiltunen_luukas

Photo of Duo Lehtinen & Lipasti © Pette Rissanen, supplied by Luukas Hiltunen

Sibelius One Magazine – July 2022

The new issue (July 2022) of Sibelius One’s full-colour magazine will soon go to press.

Features planned for this issue include:
Lost works by Jean Sibelius  David Revilla Velasco
Sibelius’s Helsinki  A pictorial guide to the city as Sibelius knew it
Jean Sibelius – ‘To the giant of Finnish Music’ Contemporary reports of Sibelius’s 50th birthday celebrations
The Sibelius Society of Japan Shihoko Iino

The magazine will be sent out automatically to subscribers. To subscribe or order a copy, please click here to visit the Magazine page of this website.

JSW Symphony No. 6 review

The critical edition score of Sibelius’s Sixth Symphony has been released in Breitkopf & Härtel’s JSW series, edited by Kai Lindberg. Click here to read our review of this volume.

Jean Sibelius: Complete Works (JSW), edited by the National Library of Finland and the Sibelius Society of Finland
Series I (Orchestral Works) Vol. 7: Symphony No. 6, Op. 104, edited by Kai Lindberg
SON 633 · Price: 140.00 €
156 pages · ISMN: 979-0-004-80368-4

Sibelius at the 2022 Proms

The 2022 BBC Proms will run from Friday 15 July to Saturday 10 September. Sibelius is represented at three concerts, including the Proms début of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Click the links below for more information (BBC website) and ticket bookings.

Prom 34, Thursday 11 August 2022, 19:30, Royal Albert Hall
Anna Thorvaldsdottir: ARCHORA
Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
Kian Soltani, cello; BBC Philharmonic / Eva Ollikainen

Prom 42, Thursday 18 August 2022, 19:30, Royal Albert Hall
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 7
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, ‘The Inextinguishable’
Francesco Piemontesi, piano; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Thomas Dausgaard

Prom 52, Friday 26 August 2022, 19:30, Royal Albert Hall
Claude Debussy: La mer
Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Thomas Adès: Märchentänze
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5
Pekka Kuusisto, violin; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Nicholas Collon

Information from BBC website