Category Archives: News

Sibelius Festival Golfo del Tigullio e Riviera – update August 2019

The fifth Sibelius Festival Golfo del Tigullio e Riviera in Italy will take place from 27 September until 13 October 2019. Its artistic director is Federico Ermirio.

Artists performing include the Myrsky String Ensemble, Andrea Carcano, Giovanni Alvino and Folke Gräsbeck (piano), Eva Alkula and Jenny Vartiainen (kantele), Irene Cerboncini (soprano) and the Symphony Orchestra of La Spezia Conservatory conducted by Giovanni Di Stefano.

Some changes have been made to concert venues as a consequence of the Municipality of Zoagli having been placed under temporary receivership. The revised schedule of concerts and events is given below:

www.sibeliusfestival.com

Fifth Sibelius Festival Golfo del Tigullio e Rivieria – update

The fifth Sibelius Festival Golfo del Tigullio e Rivieria in Italy will take place from 27 September until 13 October 2019. Its artistic director is Federico Ermirio.

Artists performing include the Myrsky String Ensemble, Andrea Carcano, Paolo Restani and Folke Gräsbeck (piano), Eva Alkula and Jenny Vartiainen (kantele), Irene Cerboncini (soprano) and the Symphony Orchestra of La Spezia Conservatory conducted by Giovanni Di Stefano.

The schedule of concerts and events is detailed below:

See also the festival’s website: https://www.sibeliusfestival.com/

 

New Sibelius publications

Breitkopf & Härtel’s JSW complete edition has published the critically edited Urtext of the tone poem Finlandia as a stand-alone paperback score.

Finlandia is edited by JSW’S editor-in-chief Timo Virtanen and comes with a detailed preface discussing the tone poem’s genesis and publication history. It is fascinating to learn, for example, that Sibelius took the autograph score with him to German in the autumn of 1900 but lost it – necessitating an urgent message to his faithful copyist Ernst Rölling in Helsinki, asking for a score to be written out from the orchestral parts!

The paperback volume is much cheaper than the hardback one will be (SON 630, in preparation) but does not include the full explanation of sources and of the editorial decision-making process that will come when it appears in the full hardback edition. Some asterisks in the score indicate points that will be clarified in the forthcoming volume.

Breitkopf & Härtel Partitur-Bibiothek 5658
Price: €26.64
Orchestral parts also available for purchase.


Also newly released by Edition Wilhelm Hansen is an arrangement by Luukas Hiltunen for string quartet of the Scène d’amour from Scaramouche, Op. 71.

Sibelius himself arranged exctracts from the ballet-pantomime Scaramouche (1913) for piano, and the Scène d’amour also for violin and piano. This arrangement, which is based on the violin and piano version, received its world première performance on 23 March 2018 at the Church of the Cross in Lahti, Finland.

Luukas Hiltunen has also made orchestral arrangements of Sibelius’s organ pieces Intrada and Surusoitto, Op. 111. More information on those arrangements was published in Sibelius One’s magazine in January 2019.

Wilhelm Hansen WH33255

 

 

Sibelius i Korpo 2019

The eighteenth Sibelius i Korpo festival will take place on 18–21 July 2019, on the island of Korpo in the beautiful Turku archipelago.

This extended festival will present Sibelius’s complete piano music – the most extensive survey of his piano music ever in a single event anywhere in the world, including his youth production for the instrument and piano transcriptions of orchestral works. Six pianists are involved: Terhi Dostal, Sae Iida, Janne Mertanen, Laura Mikkola, Joseph Tong and the festival’s artistic director Folke Gräsbeck. The festival is organized by Petri Kirkkomäki.

Events take place primarily at Korpo gård, where Sibelius himself played chamber music when he visited the area in 1887.

Folke Gräsbeck has recorded all of Sibelius’s piano music for BIS – recordings about which the prestigious American magazine Fanfare remarked: ‘Sibelius’s output for solo piano will likely never again be recorded as comprehensively or as well.’


Folke Gräsbeck

Gräsbeck has planned the concerts to correspond with the four main periods in Sibelius’s output:
1) 1885–1889: youth production
2) 1890–1906: the National Romantic period
3) 1906–1923: the time of metamorphosis
4) 1923–1931: achieving synthesis

Large-scale works such as the F major Piano Sonata and Op. 67 Sonatinas alternate with piquant miniatures such as the Thirteen Pieces of Op. 76, some of which last barely a minute. The famous ‘Trees’ and ‘Flowers’ rub shoulders with waltzes and mazurkas.

There are piano suites from theatre music, for instance for the ancient Babylonian drama Belshazzar’s Feast and the love story Pelléas et Mélisande, not forgetting Shakespeate’s Tempest, the music for which comes from Sibelius’s last stylistic period, parallel with the Sixth and Seventh Symphonies.

Armas Järnefelt 150

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Armas Järnefelt’s birth. He was Sibelius’s brother-in-law and the two men were close friends since their student years in Helsinki. His grandson Mikko Sajari will open a Järnefelt exhibition at Korpo gård, assembled by Sibelius’s grandson Severi Blomstedt. Järnefelt’s piano music will also be performed at the festival.

Tickets:

€30 per concert: contact Petri Kirkkomäki (petri.kirkkomaki@kolumbus.fi or info@sibeliusfestivalkorpo.com, or phone +358 400 708878).

www.sibeliusfestivalkorpo.com

Click here to download the festival poster (in Swedish and Finnish)

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.

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 (www.sibeliusseura.fi) 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
anna.marketta.krohn@gmail.com
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.

All-Sibelius concerts in Stratford and Birmingham

A date for your diaries…

Intimate Voices is the title of an orchestral concert by the Orchestra of the Swan conducted by Tom Hammond, with Tamsin Waley-Cohen, violin, to be held at the Stratford Playhouse, Stratford-upon-Avon on 21 January 2020 and repeated at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on 22 January 2020.

The all-Sibelius programme includes works that are rarely heard in concert as well as favourites such as The Swan of Tuonela and the Seventh Symphony.

The Orchestra of the Swan was founded in 1995 and is based in Stratford-upon-Avon. It give over 45 concerts a year and has performed in China, Mexico, Turkey and the United States. It also has recorded extensively to great acclaim. The orchestra is passionate about promoting new music and has premièred more than 70 new works.

After his selection by Sir Charles Mackerras as the first Junior Fellow in Conducting at Trinity Laban Conservatoire (2006–08), Tom Hammond has developed a rich and musically diverse career. He has built a reputation for developing ensembles musically whilst engaging in thoughtful programming, championing living composers, developing relationships with outstanding soloists and establishing outreach programmes.

Former ECHO Rising Star Tamsin Waley-Cohen has established herself as one of the most insightful and versatile young British violinists. She has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Hallé Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko, RPO, LPO, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. She is a recording artist for Signum records

Programme:
Sibelius              The Swan of Tuonela (Lemminkäinen Suite)
Sibelius              The Tempest Suite No. 2
Sibelius              Four Humoresques for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 89
Sibelius              Kuolema: Scene with Cranes
Sibelius              Symphony No. 7

Tickets can already be ordered online:
Click here for Stratford tickets
Click here for Birmingham tickets

 

 

‘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 jazmine@carcanet.co.uk. 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).

www.johngreening.co.uk
www.facebook.com/john.greening.10
https://twitter.com/GreeningPoet