Monthly Archives: January 2023

A Performance Guide to the Songs of Jean Sibelius

Kathleen Roland-Silverstein

A Performance Guide to the Songs of Jean Sibelius, by Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, is to be published by Oxford University Press (anticipated release date: late 2024). The book is intended to be an aid to performers of all of Sibelius’s songs, with phonetic and word-for-word translations, historical information about his poets and singers, a guide to Finnish and Finland-Swedish lyric diction and performance recommendations for each song opus.

Kathleen Roland-Silverstein is also the author of Romanser: 25 Swedish Art Songs with Guide to Swedish Lyric Diction (Gehrmans Musikförlag, 2013) and is the music reviewer for the Journal of Singing (National Association of Teachers of Singing). In addition, she is a highly regarded concert soloist and specialist in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been a featured singer with many music festivals, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Britten-Pears Institute and the Tanglewood Music Festival. International performances include concerts in Sweden, Finland, Vietnam, Cambodia and Germany. She is a member of the faculty at Syracuse University in New York, at the Setnor School of Music.

Sibelius’s early Piano Quartet to be performed in USA

The Varro Quartet (photo: © Ching Ching Yap)

The Varro Quartet was formed by four young musicians from Georgia: Didi Stone (violin), Lucas Nyman (violin), Richard Wang (cello) and Erin Li (Piano) for the Franklin Pond Chamber Music ‘Fall into Spring’ Pro­gram. Franklin Pond Chamber Music is an organization that provides training for young musicians year-round to learn and perform chamber music.

Having secured permission from the Sibelius family, the Varro Quartet will perform Sibelius’s early and rarely heard Piano Quartet (1884) for the final concert of the Franklin Pond Chamber Music Program on 30 April 2023 – the first performance of the work in the USA. It may also be played this piece in the context of the Franklin Pond Chamber Music Com­pe­tition in May 2023.

A complete performance of the Piano Quartet by these performers can meanwhile be found on YouTube:

Quartet in D minor, JS 157, for two violins, cello and piano (1884)
I. Andante molto – Allegro moderato [11’51]:
II. Adagio [6’49]:
III. Menuetto [4’43]:
IV. Grave – Rondo. Vivacissimo [8’40]:

Further information about the Varro Quartet and this project can be found in the current issue of the Sibelius One magazine.

Sibelius Concert at York University

Fenella Humphreys and Joseph Tong recording
music by Sibelius in 2020. Photo: © Dave Rowell

Fenella Humphreys and Joseph Tong will include a number of works by Sibelius in their recital at York University on Wednesday 22 February 2023 at 7.30pm.

Sibelius   Five Pieces for violin and piano, Op. 81
Cheryl Frances-Hoad   Sonatina
Sibelius   Four Pieces for violin and piano, Op. 115
Rautavaara   Summer Thoughts
Sibelius   Danses champêtres, Op. 106
Ravel   Sonata No. 2

Fenella Humphreys  violin
Joseph Tong  piano

Venue: Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, Campus West, University of York

Winner of the BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award in 2018, Fenella Humphreys is admired by audiences the world over for the grace and intensity of her playing. She is joined by renowned British pianist Joseph Tong in a programme featuring some of Sibelius’s best-loved works for violin and piano. ‘Album of the Weekend’ on Scala Radio and ‘Chamber Choice’ in the March 2022 edition of BBC Music Magazine, the duo’s recent recording of these works has garnered widespread critical acclaim [click here for more information about the recording]. Alongside these charmful and inventive examples of Sibelius’ chamber music, their programme also includes Ravel’s jazz-infused Sonata in G major, Rautavaara’s romantic Summer Thoughts and the dynamic and charismatic Sonatina by former winner of the BBC Young Composer of the Year Competition Cheryl Frances-Hoad.

Click here for further information and to book tickets.

Sibelius One Magazine – January 2023

The new issue (January 2023) of Sibelius One’s full-colour magazine has now been sent out to subscribers.

Update for non-UK subscribers, 21 January 2023: All magazines have now been despatched although it is possible that there will be some delays with delivery owing to the ransomware attack affecting international post from the UK.

This issue includes:
Janne’s Rhine Journey: What Sibelius learned from Wagner  Stephen Johnson
An interview with Dalia Stasevska
Following in Sibelius’s Footsteps
The Varro Quartet: introducing Sibelius’s Piano Quartet to the USA

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