Category Archives: News

First Night of the Proms 2021

Dalia Stasevska (Photo: © Nikolaj Lund)

Sibelius’s Second Symphony will be performed at the First Night of the BBC Proms 2021 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by its principal guest conductor, Dalia Stasevska.

7.30 pm, Friday 30 July 2021
Venue: Royal Albert Hall, London
Tickets: £14 to £62 (plus booking fee)

Full programme:
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music
Francis Poulenc: Organ Concerto
Sir James MacMillan: When Soft Voices Die (world première)
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2

Elizabeth Llewellyn, soprano
Jess Dandy, contralto
Allan Clayton, tenor
Michael Mofidian, bass-baritone
Daniel Hyde, organ
BBC Singers
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Dalia Stasevska, conductor

The concert can be seen on TV: first half on BBC Two at 8pm, second half on BBC Four at 9.05pm

Click here for link to BBC Proms website.


Sibelius Festival with Osmo Vänskä in Minnesota

Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra
(Photo: Greg Helgeson/Minnesota Orchestra)

The Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä have announced a Sibelius Festival in January 2022. Concerts will take place at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis.

The Sibelius Festival forms the centrepiece of the orchestra’s 2021–22 season; it features all seven of the Finnish composer’s symphonies, plus the original version of the Fifth, over three weeks, and celebrates the recording cycle that was completed by Vänskä and the orchestra in 2014, one recording of which received the Orchestra’s first Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance. Soprano Helena Juntunen and violinist Elina Vähälä  are the featured guests during the three-week festival. Vähälä will perform the rarely heard original version of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto and, at a separate concert, the standard final version of the concerto. In addition, Minnesota Orchestra violist Sam Bergman hosts a special programme that explores the history behind the multiple versions of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony.

This season marks the end of Osmo Vänskä’s tenure with the Minnesota Orchestra after 19 years as music director. Beyond 2022, Vänskä and the orchestra will maintain their musical relationship, with Vänskä returning for ongoing concert engagements.

Programmes and dates:

Friday 31 December 2021, 8.30 pm
Saturday 1 January 2022, 2 pm
Symphony No. 7
Hertig Magnus*
Symphony No. 2
*Helena Juntunen, soprano

Friday 7 January 2022, 8 pm
Saturday 8 January 2022, 8 pm
Symphony No. 6
Violin Concerto (original version)*
Symphony No. 1
*Elina Vähälä, violin

Thursday 13 January 2022, 11 am
Friday 14 January 2022, 8 pm
Symphony No. 4
Symphony No. 3
Violin Concerto (final version)*
*Elina Vähälä, violin

Saturday 15 January 2022, 8 pm
Sunday 16 January 2022, 2 pm
Symphony No. 5 (final version and extended excerpts from original version)
Sam Bergman, host

Ticket packages can be reserved from 26 July 2021 onwards. Tickets for individual concerts will be on sale from 7 September.

Click here to visit the orchestra’s website with further information and booking options.

More about the orchestra’s 2021–22 season: click here.

Source: Minnesota Orchestra website

Coming soon from JSW: Symphony No. 6

Coming soon from Breitkopf & Härtel’s JSW (Jean Sibelius Werke) series is the critical edition of the Sixth Symphony, Op. 104, edited for the project by Kai Lindberg.

Breitkopf & Härtel’s website comments:

‘Symphony, symphonic poem, fantasy, or something else entirely different? For a long time while working on the Sixth Symphony, Sibelius was not certain what his new orchestral work was now about to become or what to call it. He had to interrupt work on the symphony time and again during the Finnish civil war and because of financial difficulties that forced him to earn a living with “little things”. So, it is not surprising that many small ideas for other works repeatedly culminated in the Sixth. In a letter to a friend, he describes his early ideas for the work: “The 6th symphony is wild and turbulent in character. Gloomy with pastoral contrasts. Probably in 4 movements with a conclusion growing into a dark orchestral shower in which the main theme drowns.” The editor Kai Lindberg now presents the definitive version within the context of the Sibelius Complete Edition.

Click here for Breitkopf & Härtel’s website:
Catalogue number: SON 633 (Series I (Orchestral Works), Vol. 7:
Symphony No. 6, Op. 104 edited by Kai Lindberg
Series edited by the National Library of Finland and the Sibelius Society of Finland

Sixth Sibelius Festival Golfo del Tigullio e Riviera

The Sixth Sibelius Festival Golfo del Tigullio e Riviera in north-west Italy, in the Municipalities of Santa Margherita Ligure and Chiavari, has been  announced for September/October 2021. Its artistic director is Federico Ermirio.

The event takes place between 25 September and 4 October and features Irene Cerboncini (soprano), Massimo De Stefano and Ana Ilic (piano), Elena Cecconi (flute), Trio Gustav, the cello ensemble On the Bridge, and lecturers Federico Ermiro and Alessandra Paciotti.

Concert details (correct as of 16 July 2021):

Contact info:
See also the festival’s new website:

Current pandemic restrictions and rules impose a limited number of reserved seats for those wishing to attend the concerts. Reservations are required by calling (or sending a text message to) the following numbers +39 3392151696 / +39 3331721816 or using the form on this page of the festival’s website: Once all available seats are booked, no further bookings will be accepted, unless the rules in force are changed.


Sibelius Festival in Rotterdam – Part 3

Jukka-Pekka Saraste is continuing his fine Sibelius series in Rotterdam with two further concerts in November 2021. Also participating are two of Finlan’s top singers, soprano Helena Juntunen and baritone Tommi Hakala, and the YL Male Voice Choir.

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Jukka-Pekka Saraste conductor
Helena Juntunen soprano
Tommi Hakala baritone
YL Male Voice Choir

Venue: De Doelen, Rotterdam
Prices from €10 to €68 per concert
Ticket sales commence:
10.00 on 17 August (series)
10.00 on 31 August (individual concerts)


Sibelius One Magazine – July 2021

Sibelius One’s July 2021 magazine is currently being printed and will be sent out soon to subscribers. This issue contains the following articles:

  • Khadra and Sea Change: Sibelius’s music at Sadler’s Wells – Eija Kurki
  • Sustaining the dramatic arch – Sasha Mäkilä
  • Japanese Rhapsody: Jean Sibelius, Kojiro Kobune and Akira Ifukube – Erik Homenick
  • If you like Sibelius… – Peter Frankland

For more information about our magazine please click here.

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