‘Can you hear how nature smells?’ One can imagine Sibelius exclaiming this while he was walking in the garden of his home, Ainola.
In the concert ‘Melody Forest’, cellist Jussi Makkonen, pianist Nazig Azezia and actor Tapani Kalliomäki paint a vivid picture of the life and works of Finland’s national composer Jean Sibelius. The book ‘Melody Forest’, which was published in 2015 by Makkonen and Azezian and illustrated by Katri Kirkkopello and including a CD recorded at Ainola, was distributed to every Finnish primary school with support from the Ministry of Education. The audience and performers are transported through time to the world of Sibelius: the grandchildren recount memories of their grandfather ‘Janne’, Finlandia is heard in the national landscape of Koli and, en route to Europe, we hear Souvenir.
The Sibelius-themed school concerts by the cellist Jussi Makkonen and pianist Nazig Azezian have reached hundreds of thousands of children in Finland and internationally. These artists have given concerts in more than 2,000 schools and kindergartens in Finland, in Finnish schools in the USA, Italy, Belgium and Austria, and in local schools, for example in Sweden, Norway, Hong Kong, Turkey and the USA, bringing classical music closer to young listeners.
A documentary on the origins of the book ‘Melody Forest’ can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkPT0wSjgxs
The Lahti Symphony Orchestra reserves the right to make changes to the programmes and timing of concerts if the restrictions required by the coronavirus infection situation.