Monthly Archives: May 2019

Rotterdam Sibelius Festival Review (May 2019) [link]

It is not very common to hear all Sibelius’s symphonies in two weekends, played by one orchestra being led by one conductor. Especially in The Netherlands, where a lot of Sibelius’s music is for some reason still relatively obscure, and one might be lucky to hear a Sibelius symphony being performed by any of the major orchestras only once a year. So it was certainly a bold move for the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra to organize a Sibelius Festival and to invite Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste to conduct a complete Sibelius symphony cycle…

Jukka-Pekka Saraste (photo: © Felix Broede)

Click here to read the full review by Rob Ebbers

Sibelius Conference 2020

Sibelius’s birthplace in Hämeenlinna (Photo: © Balcer/Wikipedia Commons)

Sibelius on the Scene

The Seventh International Jean Sibelius Conference

Hämeenlinna, Finland, 7–9 September 2020

The Seventh International Jean Sibelius Conference will be organized by the Sibelius Society Helsinki in Hämeenlinna, Finland on 7–9 September 2020.

Conference postponed until 2021 – click here for further information.

Literature and visual arts inspired Sibelius throughout his career. Under the title Sibelius on the Scene, the Seventh International Jean Sibelius Conference will include presentations on Sibelius’s music composed for the scene and dealing with Sibelius on the scene of the cultural and social life of his time, with a special focus on the decade following the declaration of Finland’s independence, plus various topics of performance practice, textual scholarship and music analysis.

Presentations will last 20 minutes (+ 10 minutes discussion) and be in English.

The deadline for registration is 31 May 2020, and the standard participation fee is € 250.

Keynote speakers will be Prof. Daniel Grimley (University of Oxford, England), the composer Éric Tanguy (France) and Prof. Luigi Verdi (Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Music, Rome, Italy).

Information about accommodation in Hämeenlinna will be available on the conference website ( in January 2020. You should plan to arrive on Sunday 6 September 2020.

The concerence’s organizing committee is:
Prof. Timo Virtanen, Editor-in-Chief of the Jean Sibelius Works, chairman
DMus, conductor Tuomas Hannikainen
Prof. Veijo Murtomäki
DMus Tuija Wicklund, editor of the Jean Sibelius Works
PhD Antti Vihinen
Anna Krohn
, secretary

For more information, or if you would like to propose a presentation topic, please click here to download the call for papers. The deadline for proposals/abstracts is 30 September 2019.

For more information, please contact
Anna Krohn, general secretary of the international Jean Sibelius Conference 2020
tel. +358 40 7247 127


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.

‘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).