Monthly Archives: May 2021

Nordic Reflections: choral music – streaming concert

A concert featuring some of Sibelius’s best-loved choral music alongside works by Elgar and Matthew Whittall  will be streamed live from Kings Place, London, on Thursday 3 June 2021 at 7.30 pm. The Carice Singers are conducted by George Parris.

After the live broadcast the event will be available on demand until Thursday 10 June.

Full programme:

Elgar My love dwelt in a northern land
Sibelius Min rastas raataa
Sibelius Män från slätten och havet
Elgar Evening Scene
Elgar The Fountain
Sibelius Rakastava
Elgar Love
Elgar Serenade
Sibelius Sortunut ääni
Sibelius Saarella palaa
Elgar Owls (An Epitaph)
Elgar O Wild west wind!
Sibelius Sydämeni laulu
Sibelius Venematka
Matthew Whittall Lauantaisauna (Saturday sauna)

Under their director George Parris the Carice Singers are becoming well-known for superb performances and imaginative programmes. Here they focus on two world-famous contemporaries, Elgar and Sibelius who, despite coming from opposite ends of Europe, share many influences, traits and tensions in their music. The programme travels between the Malvern Hills and Finnish forests, ending in the steamy embrace of Matthew Whittall’s evocation of a Saturday evening sauna. The concert is generously supported by the Nicholas John Trust.

Price: £9.50

Link to the event / tickets: click here

(Image: Broken reflections, Saimaa Canal, Russia by Ninara, Creative Commons CC BY 2.0)

Sibelius’s ‘new’ concert overture performed

Newpaper reviews of the concert overture from ‘The Maiden in the Tower’

On 23 May 2021 the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra under Tuomas Hannikainen performed Sibelius’s 12-minute Concert Overture, consisting of material from the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower), at Helsinki’s Ritarihuone. The work was last heard in April 1900 in Turku, conducted by the composer. The reviewer of Uusi Aura called the piece a ‘ballad’ that ‘attracted much attention’; his colleague in Åbo Underrättelser mentioned that the piece had not been performed in Turku before, and was received with ‘sympathetic applause’.

Previously it has been assumed that the overture performed in Turku was just the orchestral introduction to the opera, some three minutes of music that lack an effective concert ending. When examining the original manuscript, however, Hannikainen became curious about some markings and changes, apparently in Sibelius’s handwriting. Through extensive research into the manuscript and other sources he was able to reconstruct the longer overture, i.e. the Concert Overture, which incorporates material from various different places in the opera.

Among the other music in the concert were Sibelius’s suite from Belshazzar’s Feast and the melodrama The Countess’s Portrait.

The concert can be heard here:, and a video recording of the Concert Overture can be seen on the orchestra’s YouTube channel.

The score is being published by Fennica Gehrman, and performance materials will be available for hire (


Sakari Oramo’s Sibelius in Stockholm

Illustration by Jenny Svenberg Bunnel from Konserthuset website

Sakari Oramo’s final concerts as chief conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra are an in-depth journey through Jean Sibelius’s music, including all seven symphonies in chronological order. All concerts will be available to listen to free online.

Click below for links:

Wednesday 19 May 2021, 19.30 Swedish time (18.30 UK):
Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2 

Saturday 22 May 2021, 15.00 Swedish time (14.00 UK):
Symphony No. 3; Luonnotar; Symphony No. 4
Anu Komsi, soprano

Wednesday 26 May 2021, 19.30 Swedish time (18.30 UK):
Violin Concerto; Symphony No. 5
Lisa Batiashvili, violin

Saturday 29 May 2021, 15.00 Swedish time (14.00 UK):
Symphony No. 6; Two Serious Melodies; Symphony No. 7
Johannes Rostamo, cello


Lahti Sibelius Festival 2021 – Programmes

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s 22nd International Sibelius Festival will take place at the Sibelius Hall from 2–5 September 2021. Its artistic director is Dalia Stasevska, the new principal conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Guest artists are violinist Pekka Kuusisto, Tomas Djupsjöbacka conducting the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, actor Seela Sella, pianist Tähe-Lee Liiv, bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams, and folk musicians.

Timo Alakotila: Prelude to Sibelius’s Kullervo
Jean Sibelius: Kullervo

Sibelius’s early piano music and Aino’s letters to Janne         
Timo Alakotila: Prelude to Sibelius’s Violin Concerto
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto
Timo Alakotila: Prelude to Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5

Runic songs boat trip to Myllysaari
Jean Sibelius: Lemminkäinen suite
Jean Sibelius: Pohjola’s Daughter
Jean Sibelius (arr. Einojuhani Rautavaara): In the Stream of Life
Jean Sibelius: The Bard
Jean Sibelius: En saga

Runic songs boat trip to Myllysaari

Click here for further information.