Tag Archives: Hämeenlinna

Sibelius Conference 2020 postponed

The Organizing Committee of the 7th International Jean Sibelius Conference (previously scheduled to take place on 7–9 September 2020) has published the following important announcement for all participants:

Dear participant of the 7th International Sibelius Conference,

The Finnish Government has announced certain concessions to the restrictions imposed in Finland due to the COVID-19 disease, but the pandemic situation worldwide is difficult and may still remain so for several months or even longer. Because of the high health risks caused by travelling and social gatherings and various unpredictable practical consequences of the pandemic, the Organizing Committee has decided that the 7th International Sibelius Conference will be postponed tentatively to early September 2021. The precise dates and other details will be notified as soon as possible. The duration, place and programme of the Conference will remain the same as announced earlier, but we kindly ask for your understanding for possible minor adjustments to the programme.

We hope that you all stay well and safe in these difficult times and look forward to seeing you in Hämeenlinna in 2021.

The Organizing Committee of the 7th International Sibelius Conference

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 (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
tel. +358 40 7247 127


Sibelius Forest

Lake Aulanko from Aulanko Tower
Photo: © Leo-setä (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

On 24 August 2018 the city of Hämeenlinna will inaugurate the ‘Sibelius Forest’, an approximately 100-hectare nature reserve east of the Lake Aulanko – the area seen from Aulanko observation tower. The forest is located in Hämeenlinna National Park, Finland’s first and the world’s second national urban park, established in January 2001.

The aim of the Sibelius Forest is that it will not significantly limit recreational use of the land (e.g. the Aulanko Hiking Trail) but will take better account of the objectives of the nature conservation area. The area has considerable indirect economic significance, contributing to tourism in Aulanko/Hämeenlinna.

The establishment of the Sibelius Forest Nature Reserve strengthens the position of Hämeenlinna as the ‘city of Sibelius’, protecting the nationally valuable landscape and natural environment, that inspired Sibelius to compose Finlandia.

The young Sibelius enjoyed the forest, often visited Aulanko and was familiar with the views. In the late 19th century, Aulankovuori Hill was a popular place for excursions, with a wooden lookout pavilion at the top of the hill; later, a 33-metre tall granite observation tower was built (Waldemar Aspelin, 1906–07).

Aulanko Observation Tower

Photo: © Alessio Damato 2006 (GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)

The establishment of the Sibelius Forest is linked to Finland’s centenary celebrations in 2017.

Further information (in Finnish) click here.





Sixth International Sibelius Conference, Hämeenlinna 2015


The Sixth International Jean Sibelius Conference will take place in at Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna, Finland, from 4th to 8th December 2015.

The conference will gather eminent scholars from all over the world with a wide variety of presentations on many different aspects of Sibelius’s life and music.

The presentations, which will take place in two parallel sessions throughout, will be as follows:

  1. James Hepokoski: Early Sibelius, Primitivist-Modernism, ‘News of War’
  2. Les Black: Dorian Departure
  3. Aare Tool: Jean Sibelius and the Modes of Limited Transposition
  4. Benedict Taylor: Monotonality and Scalar Modulation in Sibelius’s Tapiola
  5. Philip Ross Bullock: Sibelius Reception in Britain, 1901–1939: Centre Periphery in the Musical Construction of the North
  6. Laura Gray: The Tipping Point and the Rise of the Sibelius Cult in England
  7. Helena Tyrväinen: Sibelius and the French Press in the 1920s: Initiatives, Mediators and Interpretations
  8. Edward Clark: Sibelius and contemporary composers
  9. Martti Laitinen: Why Kajanus went to St Petersburg
  10. Vesa Kurkela and Olli Heikkinen: Sibelius as popular composer: Music by Sibelius in Kajanus’s  popular concerts
  11. Vesa Sirén: (topic to be determined)
  12. Kaarina Kilpiö: Soundtrack for ‘The New Military Branch’. Jean Sibelius’s music in Finnish propaganda films during World War II
  13. Charris Efthimiou: On the instrumentation of bass and melody line in Jean Sibelius’s early symphonic poems (1892–1894)
  14. Pekka Helasvuo: The formation of the mode of expression of dynamic and articulation markings in the notation of Jean Sibelius
  15. Juhani Alesaro: Analyzing Sibelius’s Satz
  16. Barry Wiener: Dahlhaus’s Paradigm and Sibelius Reception
  17. Ferruccio Tammaro: War-Symphonies and Peace-Symphonies: Sibelius’s Fifth
  18. Antonin Servière: Reflecting Sibelius’s Legacy in Today’s Composer’s Mind
  19. Nors S. Josephson: Sibelius at the Crossroads: Old Paths Leading To New Creative Departures in His Second Symphony (1901–1902)
  20. Sakari Ylivuori: From a Bon vivant to a War Hero – The Narrative Structure of Sandels (Op. 28)
  21. Lauri Suurpää: Unconfirmed Pastoral and Denial of Threat in the Slow Movement of Sibelius’s First Symphony
  22. Olli Väisälä: Sibelius’s Revision of the First Movement of the Violin Concerto: Strengthening Tonal Structure while Removing Tonal Clichés
  23. Kimmo Sarje: Sibelius and the Modern
  24. Ron Weidberg: Sibelius and Schoenberg
  25. Daniel Grimley: ‘I sing another song’: Sibelius, Hofmannsthal and the Subjectivities
    of Jedermann
  26. Ilkka Oramo: Sibelius’s Eighth Symphony – fact and fiction
  27. Marc Vignal: Sibelius and Mahler
  28. Jorma Daniel Lünenbürger: Jean Sibelius and the Cello
  29. Tuija Wicklund: Sibelius and Böcklin
  30. Anna Pulkkis: Sibelius’s Loulou Andantino – a Souvenir Composition with a Mystery
  31. Timo Virtanen: Sibelius’s Sketches for the Violin Concerto
  32. Gustav Djupsjöbacka: There are several ways of putting it
  33. Carola Finkel: The metamorphoses of Svartsjukans nätter
  34. Sanna Iitti: The Representation of Emotions in the songs Våren flyktar hastigt and Svarta rosor
  35. Leah Broad: Forests, Fires, and Factories: Sibelius and the Mechanical
  36. Eero Tarasti: How Sibelius Became Sibelius –  Observations and Notes on the Emergence of His Style
  37. Tim Howell: Jean Sibelius: Progressive or Modernist?
  38. Tim Jackson: ‘The Company You Keep’: Recipients of the Honorary Doctorates from the 1936 Heidelberg Celebration – Sibelius and Those Honoured Alongside Him
  39. Mart Humal: Sibelius’s Incidental Music for The Tempest: Ariel’s Five Songs as a Cycle
  40. Veijo Murtomäki: Did Sibelius mean (some of) his miniature opuses to be taken as suites?
  41. Andrew Barnett: The BIS Sibelius Edition
  42. Benjamin T. Hilger: Sibelius’s Second Symphony Recordings – Tendencies of conducting within history

Among numerous live music performances that will take place during the conference is a concert by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu, featuring the winner of the Eleventh International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition. The works to be performed are Tapiola, the Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 2. To check ticket availability for the concert: click here.

On the organizing committee of the conference are Erkki Korhonen (chairman), Andrew Barnett, Anna Krohn, Veijo Murtomäki, Eero Tarasti and Timo Virtanen.



Joseph Tong plays Sibelius in Finland


The renowned British pianist Joseph Tong will perform a selection of Sibelius’s piano works, including the composer’s own transcription of Finlandia, in three recitals at prominent venues in Finland in early September. The works also feature on his from his new CD on the Quartz label.

Joseph Tong studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music in London, making his Wigmore Hall début in 1997 as a winner of the Maisie Lewis Young Artists Award.

Sunday 6th September, Helsinki Music Centre, Camerata Hall, 7.00pm http://www.musiikkitalo.fi/en/content/sibelius-150th-anniversary-piano-recital
Kyllikki, Op. 41
Five Pieces ‘The Trees’, Op. 75
Five Pieces ‘The Flowers’, Op. 85
Five Romantic Pieces, Op. 101
Juha T. Koskinen: Piccarda on the Moon
Sonatina in F sharp minor, Op. 67 No. 1
Five Esquisses, Op. 114
Two Rondinos, Op. 68
Finlandia, Op. 26

Tuesday 8th September, Ainola, Järvenpää, 6.00pm
A Sibelius piano recital on the composer’s Steinway at Ainola
Kyllikki, Op. 41
Five Pieces ‘The Trees’, Op. 75
Five Pieces ‘The Flowers’, Op. 85
Five Romantic Pieces, Op. 101
Sonatina in F sharp minor, Op. 67 No. 1
Five Esquisses, Op. 114
Two Rondinos, Op. 68
Finlandia, Op. 26

Wednesday 9th September, Hämeenlinna Town Hall, 7.00pm
Programme same as 8th September

All the details for these concerts can also be found at  http://www.sibelius150.org/en

Down the drain in Hämeenlinna


In Hämeenlinna, the town where Jean Sibelius was born, the regional water company (HS-vesi) wanted to join in with the Sibelius 150 communal effort and, literally speaking, ‘leave their mark on the ground’. They had to renew about 150 of the Hämeenlinna town centre’s drain covers, and suggested that instead of the ‘usual’ ornaments, why not have the iron covers cast with something related to 2015? A different silvery grey metal alloy was also chosen that acquires an interesting patina in the long term, instead of regular iron that eventually rusts away. The life expectancy of the covers should take the city up to the 200th Sibelius anniversary festivities!

The approach was a combination of genuine appreciation and tongue-in-cheek humour.

The covers are designed by Markku Piri, who writes: ‘I did a simple editing of the visual symbol for this Sibelius year, of the stylized passion flower emblem with the outward flying swan [Hämeenlinna is the only region in Finland where the passion flower thrives in the wild]. So, when folks now walk about Hämeenlinna and look up, they’ll see hundreds of timely flags, and when they look down, they cannot escape the 150-year Sibelius mark either!’

Source: Markku Piri

Musical Experience Park opens in Hämeenlinna

Photo © Sibelius One
Photo © Sibelius One

On 8th December 2014 a new element is added to the Sibelian landscape in the composer’s home town of Hämeenlinna: a musical experience park, the first of its kind in Finland. In the Sibelius Park, home to one of Finland’s most recognizable statues of the composer, five benches – positioned far enough apart to avoid mutual interference – have been equipped with with sensors so that music is played when visitors sit on them. The music chosen is the popular set of five piano pieces, ‘The Trees’, Op. 75.

Source: yle


Sibelius – kohtalonyhteydet (Sibelius – Fateful Connections)

A new play about Sibelius
by Antti Vihinen will be premièred
in Hämeenlinna in February 2015


‘Fateful connections’ is a beautiful term. For example, the German Jewish composer Gustav Mahler once met Jean Sibelius, who was in favour in Nazi Germany. They discussed music, not politics. There was a remarkable connection between the two composers’ fates: both of them composed a vocal work about the death of a child. Sibelius’s piece, well-known to all Finns, was the choral song Sydämeni laulu (Song of my Heart); Mahler’s contribution was the Kindertotenlieder. In both cases, one of the composer’s children died shortly after the music was composed.

In Sibelius’s birth house in Hämeenlinna there is a drawing from Sibelius’s childhood. The Sibelius family is on an excursion; their mother is sheltering the children under parasols. High up in the sky is a hot air balloon, from the basket of which little Janne, Finland’s future national composer Jean Sibelius, looks down and watches the world going by.

A talented person affects and leaves traces in his environment. For an artist the process of composition may be a solitary experience, but the finished result becomes our common property, art that defines the people, and a measure of national self-esteem. The play Sibelius – Fateful Connections also explores Jean Sibelius’s significance for Finnishness. What happens to a person when he changes from being himself to being a monument? What would Sibelius say to poets such as Pentti Saarikoski or Arto Melleri? What would his dream of Mannerheim be like? How can someone who listens to the music of the spheres get by? What are the dreams of a passionate person? How can he survive in a world that has fallen into absurdity?

Antti Vihinen’s multi-layered, opulent dream play Sibelius – Fateful Connections presents a wild fresco of an exceptional creative individual’s life based on the traces he left in the world.

First performance 12.2.2015
Hämeenlinna Theatre (in Finnish)

Script Antti Vihinen
Direction Sakari Kirjavainen
Ilkka Heiskanen, Katariina Kuisma-Syrjä, Matti Nurminen, Tommi Rantamäki, Mikko Töyssy, Lasse Sandberg, Turkka Mastomäki, Birgitta Putkonen, Maiju-Riina Huttunen

Duration: approx. 2h 20min including interval
Tickets: € 32 / 27/ 20
Further information: www.hmlteatteri.fi/esitteet/kevat2015

Sibelius Calendar 2015


The English edition of the Sibelius 150 Jubilee calendar has now been now released. The calendar is illustrated with pictures by the photographer Taneli Eskola, as well as with archive photographs from Jean Sibelius’s life. Each month commemorates important events through the decades of the Sibelius family life. The calendar also lists notable Sibelius concerts worldwide in 2015.

Price: €15
Dimensions 20.5 x 22.5 cm
International orders: please contact by e-mail jaana.rantanen@wetterhoff.fi
Hämeenlinnan Sibelius-seura

Extended opening times for Sibelius birthplace museum in 2015


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

Sibelius’s birthplace museum in Hämeenlinna will open for extended hours until the end of 2015. During the winter months it will be open from 12 noon until 4 pm; from May to August from 10 am until 4 pm – every day including Mondays.

Sibelius’s birthplace is a modest Empire-style wooden house built in 1834 in the centre of Hämeenlinna. Here he spent the first three years of his life, although he lived at other addresses in Hämeenlinna until 1885. The house has been a museum since the 1960s and contains many Sibelius-related exhibits and items contemporary with the composer’s early years. The building is also a venue for chamber concerts.

Admission €5 / €4 / €2

More information (in Finnish)
Contact information in English

Hallituskatu 11
FIN-13100 Hämeenlinna
Tel. +358 3 621 2755