Tag Archives: Lahti

Lahti International Sibelius Festival 2019

Dima Slobodeniouk and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra at the 2018 Sibelius Festival. Photo: © Maarit Kytöharju

Karita Mattila and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra will be among the guests at the Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s 20th International Sibelius Festival, which will take place on 5–8 September 2019, with most events taking place at the Sibelius Hall. The thematic concepts for this jubilee festival are songs and stories, and the festival’s artistic director is Dima Slobodeniouk, principal conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra.

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra will perform on Thursday 5 September and Saturday 7 September under Slobodeniouk’s baton. The Saturday orchestral concert stars soprano Karita Mattila. One of Finland’s most successful artists, Mattila will interpret a selection of Sibelius’s songs, and among the purely orchestral works in the concert is the tone poem En saga. At the festival’s opening concert on Thursday the orchestra will perform Kullervo, with soloists mezzo-soprano Marjukka Tepponen and baritone Tommi Hakala and the Polytech Choir.

Guests at this jubilee festival are the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. This orchestra, with its impressive history of Sibelius performances, will perform at the evening orchestral concert on Friday 6 September under the renowned Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard. This is the orchestra that premièred Sibelius’s Seventh Symphony in Stockholm in 1924 under the baton of the composer, and Sibelius conducted the orchestra on seven occasions in total. At this concert we shall hear the composer’s Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Symphonies. The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra’s appearance at the Sibelius Festival is made possible by financial support from the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

As an innovation at this year’s festival, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra will also perform a concert named ‘Dive into the Orchestra’, where the audience can experience the music while sitting within the orchestra itself. This will take place in the Forest Hall at the Sibelius Hall on the afternoon of Friday 6 September, and is by Dima Slobodeniouk.

In addition to the orchestral concerts, the festival’s programme again includes chamber music and other Sibelius-themed events.

On the afternoon of Friday 6 September there is a lecture concert in the Kalevi Aho Hall at the Lahti Music Institute given by the pianist Folke Gräsbeck, one of the world’s foremost Sibelius experts. Among the topics Gräsbeck will discuss and illustrate with music is the story of Sibelius’s Eighth Symphony.

The Saturday afternoon concert in the Felix Krohn Hall of the Lahti Concert Hall features the cellist Jonathan Roozeman and the pianist Ossi Tanner. Both of these young performers have been artists-in-residence with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra.

The Sunday morning concert that concludes the festival features Sibelius’s choral and organ music. The Dominante choir is conducted by Seppo Murto, who also plays the organ. Folke Gräsbeck also participates.

The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1902, performs regularly at prestigious concert halls all over the world, and has made many acclaimed and award-winning recordings. The highly respected magazine Die Welt has called it one of the best orchestras in the world. Since 2008 the orchestra’s chief conductor and artistic adviser has been Sakari Oramo. The orchestra is also well-known for its annual performances at the Nobel Prize ceremonies. It gave the first performance of Jean Sibelius’s Seventh Symphony in Stockholm in March 1924, and in all Sibelius conducted the orchestra on seven occasions.

The Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard (b. 1963) has been principal conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Swedish Chamber Orchestra, and in the autumn of 2019 he takes up the post of musical director of the Seattle Symphony. Dausgaard makes regular guest appearances all over the world conducting orchestras such as the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He is also known for his Sibelius interpretations: for example, in the Sibelius jubilee year 2015 he played all seven symphonies with the Seattle Symphony, and in May 2018 he performed Kullervo there for the first time in the orchestra’s history. He has also recorded Sibelius’s music for violin and orchestra with the violinist Christian Tetzlaff and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra for Virgin Classics.

Sibelius One will organize a group visit to the festival for current members, who will benefit from discounted ticket prices. To join Sibelius One and gain this benefit, click here.

For programmes and information on our group visit, click here.

Source: Lahti Symphony Orchestra press release

Lahti Sibelius Festival 2018

Lahti Symphony Orchestra / Dima Slobodeniouk. Photo: © Lahti SO/Juha Tanhua

Programmes and artists – including a guest orchestra and conductor – have been announced for the 2018 Lahti Sibelius Festival.

For more information about the music and about Sibelius One’s group visit to the festival, click here.


Lahti Sibelius Festival 2017 Review

Photo: © Lahti SO/Juha Tanhua

The Eighteenth International Lahti Sibelius Festival coincided with the centenary year of Finland’s political independence. In a previous year forty percent of tickets were sold to non-Finnish patrons, so its claim of international status is well justified. As usual concert tickets and hotel accommodation had been arranged at a special price for Sibelius One members. Click here to read the full review by Geoff Hayes.




Lahti Sibelius Festival 2017 – Update

Lahti Symphony Orchestra in the Sibelius Hall (photo: © Juha Tanhua)
Lahti Symphony Orchestra in the Sibelius Hall (photo: © Juha Tanhua)

Programmes have now been announced for the 2017 Sibelius Festival in Lahti.

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s 18th International Sibelius Festival will take place at the Sibelius Hall from 30 August until 3 September 2017, and its artistic director is Dima Slobodeniouk, principal conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. There will also be a guest appearance by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Santtu-Matias Rouvali as well as chamber concerts and other events. This year’s theme is the centenary of Finland’s independence. The festival is also part of the national ‘Finland 100’ programme of events.

Click here to see the programme information and to find out about Sibelius One’s group visit to the festival.

Lahti Symphony Orchestra: www.sinfonialahti.fi

Click here to download the official  brochure



Gothenburg in Lahti

The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Santtu-Matias Rouvali
The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Santtu-Matias Rouvali (Photo: © Ola Kjelbye Fotografi AB)

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra has invited the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra to perform at the concert in the Sibelius Hall on Friday 1 September 2017 as part of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s 18th International Sibelius Festival. The GSO will be conducted by Santtu-Matias Rouvali, the rising star conductor, originally from Lahti, who takes over as principal conductor in Gothenburg in autumn and will bring his new orchestra to his home town right away. It will be the first foreign visit by Rouvali together with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (the National Orchestra of Sweden).

Santtu-Matias Rouvali (photo: © Kaapo Kamu)

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s 18th International Sibelius Festival will take place at the Sibelius Hall from 30 August until 3 September 2017, and its artistic director is Dima Slobodeniouk, principal conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. In addition to the concert by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, there will be three concerts by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra under Slobodeniouk’s baton (Wednesday 30 August, Thursday 31 August and Saturday 2 September), as well as chamber concerts and other events. The theme of the programmes of music by Sibelius is the centenary of Finland’s independence, and the orchestral concerts will include, among other works, the Second and Fifth Symphonies, Spring Song, En saga, The Wood-Nymph and the Press Celebrations Music; further details of the repertoire will be announced shortly. The festival is also part of the national ‘Finland 100’ programme of events.

Click here for information about Sibelius One’s group visit to the Sibelius Festival 2017.

Dima Slobodeniouk, artistic director of the Sibelius festival, regards the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra’s visit as a landmark in the festival’s history: ‘One of Sibelius’s most important champions outside Finland was the composer and conductor Wilhelm Stenhammar, who was principal conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra from 1907 until 1922. When we speak of Finland’s independence, we should remember that the year 1917 marks an important phase in Sibelius’s life as well, when knowledge of his music was spreading rapidly internationally, and the Gothenburg orchestra played an important part in this’.

Sten Cranner, general manager and artistic director of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, says that the orchestra is genuinely honoured by and grateful for the invitation to perform at the Lahti Sibelius Festival in 2017. ‘Most of all because Jean Sibelius is so important for the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra’s repertoire, history and identity, but it’s certainly also very special for us in that we will make a guest appearance at the festival for the first time in Finland’s anniversary year. This will also be our very first concert outside Sweden with our new chief conductor, Santtu-Matias Rouvali.’


The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, one of Europe’s most highly renowned symphony orchestras, was founded in 1905. The orchestra played Sibelius’s music for the first time in 1907, performing the Second Symphony under the baton of Armas Järnefelt. In the decades that followed, the Second Symphony featured on the orchestra’s programmes so often that it became an unofficial calling card.

In February 1911 Sibelius conducted his own music in Sweden for the first time, with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (in works including Pohjola’s Daughter and the Third Symphony), and in 1915 Sibelius’s only wartime trip abroad took him to Sweden, where he conducted his own music in Gothenburg. He visited Gothenburg again to conduct his own works in 1923, and dedicated his Sixth Symphony – completed that year – to Stenhammar. When Stenhammar died in 1927, Sibelius wrote: ‘In all my life I have never met such a noble and idealistic person as Wilhelm Stenhammar. I am proud that I could count myself among his friends. He meant so much to my art! How infinitely empty it feels now that he is no longer with us.

The orchestra’s strong Sibelius tradition continued even after Stenhammar’s time, for example with the conductor Neeme Järvi, who recorded two cycles of Sibelius symphonies in Gothenburg (for BIS and Deutsche Grammophon). Among the BIS Sibelius recordings are also numerous world premières, for instance of the opera The Maiden in the Tower, the Overtures in A minor and E major, Ballet Scene and Academic March.

Source: Lahti Symphony Orchestra press release









Works that speak to each other – Lahti Sibelius Festival 2016

Dima Slobodeniouk (photo: © Marco Borggreve)
Dima Slobodeniouk (photo: © Marco Borggreve)

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s 17th International Sibelius Festival will take place at the Sibelius Hall in Lahti on 8th–11th September 2016. The three orchestral concerts will be conducted by the orchestra’s chief conductor and the festival’s new artistic director, Dima Slobodeniouk. The full programme for the festival – including chamber music concerts and other Sibelius-themed events – will be published later.

Programmes for the 2016 Sibelius Festival’s orchestral concerts

Thursday 8th September 2016
Pohjola’s Daughter
Symphony No. 1

Friday 9th September 2016
The Dryad
The Tempest, concert suite
Symphony No. 4

Saturday 10th September 2016
Pan and Echo
Pelléas et Mélisande
Symphony No. 3

Slobodeniouk: ‘Not everything in music can be – or needs to be – explained’

The conductor Dima Slobodeniouk believes in music in its own right, and in its power as an absolute art form. ‘In my opinion Sibelius’s works prove that not everything in music can be – or needs to be – explained. Of course historical facts can deepen our understanding, but the music itself remains the primus motor’, says Slobodeniouk. ‘For the orchestral concerts at the 2016 Sibelius Festival I have chosen works from different periods that, I feel, speak to each other. One of the programmes consists of works that Sibelius composed in successive years: Pelléas et Mélisande in 1905, Pan and Echo in 1906 and the Third Symphony in 1907. I feel that there is such a clear thread that unites them all that I could not fail to play them in proximity to each other. In the other orchestral programmes I have aimed both for contrasts and for musical affinities.’

Sibelius One will be organizing a group booking for the 2016 Sibelius Festival. Details will be announced in due course.


Source: Lahti Symphony Orchestra press release

Lahti Sibelius Festival: Song Recital

Erica Back at the Third International Sibelius Singing Competition (Photo: © Heikki Tuuli)

The programme for the song recital at this year’s Sibelius Festival in Lahti (on Sunday 6th September at 11 am) has been announced.

The recital will be given by the mezzo-soprano Erica Back, second prize winner at this year’s International Sibelius Singing Competition, with the pianist Kristian Attila.

Våren flyktar hastigt [Spring Flies Speedily], Op. 13 No. 4
Se’n har jag ej frågat mera [Since Then I Have Questioned No Further], Op. 17 No. 1
Sov in! [Go to Sleep!], Op. 17 No. 2
Vilse [Astray], Op. 17 No. 4
Lastu lainehilla [Driftwood], Op. 17 No. 7
Im Feld ein Mädchen singt [In the Field a Maid Sings], Op. 50 No. 3
Rosenlied [Song of the Roses], Op. 50 No. 6
Die stille Stadt [The Silent City], Op. 50 No. 5
Aus banger Brust [From Anxious Heart], Op. 50 No. 4
Hertig Magnus [Duke Magnus], Op. 57 No. 6
Soluppgång [Sunrise], Op. 37 No. 3
Lasse Liten [Little Lasse], Op. 37 No. 2
Den första kyssen [The First Kiss], Op. 37 No. 1
Kyssen [The Kiss], Op. 72 No. 3
Bollspelet vid Trianon [Tennis at Trianon], Op. 36 No. 3
Men min fågel märks dock icke [But My Bird is Long in Homing], Op. 36 No. 2
Demanten på marssnön [The Diamond on the March Snow], Op. 36 No. 6
Säv, säv, susa [Sigh, Sigh, Sedges], Op. 36 No. 4
Narciss [Narcissus], JS 140

The programme will also include two piano solo pieces:
Björken [The Birch], Op. 75 No. 4
Granen [The Spruce], Op. 75 No. 5

Further information: click here


Lahti Sibelius Festival 2015: piano music programmes


Programmes have been announced for the two piano concerts in this year’s International Sibelius Festival in Lahti.

Folke Gräsbeck / Tuesday 1st September / 4.30 pm / Kalevi Aho Hall
[Aubade] in A flat major, JS 46
Largo in A major, JS 117 (Kesälahti version)
Andantino in D major ‘Till Emma Kristina Marie-Louise Berndtson. Lulu’
Lento in E major, JS 119
[Polka] ‘Aino’ in C minor
Adagio in E major, JS 13
Thirteen Pieces, Op. 76
Souvenir, Op. 99/3
Moment de valse, Op. 99/7
Five Romantic Compositions, Op. 101
Morceau romantique sur un motif de M. Jacob de Julin, JS 135b
Landscape II (1928–29)

Paavali Jumppanen / Thursday 3rd September / 3 pm / Kalevi Aho Hall
Kyllikki, Op. 41
Five Pieces ‘The Flowers’, Op. 85
Sonatina No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 67/1
Five Characteristic Impressions, Op. 103
Sonatina No. 3 in B flat minor, Op. 67/3


Lahti International Sibelius Festival 2015: update

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra in the Sibelius Hall. Photo: © Juha Tanhua
The Lahti Symphony Orchestra in the Sibelius Hall. Photo: © Juha Tanhua

The music to be performed at three of the chamber concerts at the 2015 Lahti Sibelius Festival has been announced and is as follows:

Wednesday 2.9.2015 at 4.30 pm – Kalevi Aho Hall
Jaakko Kuusisto, violin – Heini Kärkkäinen, piano
En glad musikant (A Happy Musician) for solo violin, JS 70
Three Pieces for violin and piano, Op. 116
Sonata in F major for violin and piano, JS 178
Five Danses champêtres, Op. 106

Friday 4.9.2015 at 3 pm – Kalevi Aho Hall
Sibelius Piano Trio
Piano Trio in C major, ‘Lovisa’, JS 208
Piano Trio in D major, ‘Korpo’, JS 209

Saturday 5.9.2015 at 12.30 pm – Kalevi Aho Hall
Tempera Quartet
Adagio in D minor, JS 12
String Quartet in D minor, Op. 56 ‘Voces intimae’
Andante festivo, JS 34a

Please contact us at the latest by 15th December 2014 if you wish to be part of the Sibelius One group at the Festival in 2015, as tickets and hotel rooms are selling out FAST. Further information on the page ‘Visit Finland’.