The position of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) as Finland’s national composer is probably incontestable; his significance for the history of Finnish music is unparalleled. Sibelius is also Finland’s most famous composer internationally, whose music has won admirers in all parts of the globe. With its annual Sibelius Festival, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra aims to gather together Sibelius’s friends from all over the world and to offer them a truly memorable weekend in the company of Sibelius’s music.
This internationally acclaimed festival will bring together friends of Sibelius’ music from across the globe September 2.9.-5.9.2021, as the Lahti Symphony Orchestra once again invites followers of Finland’s national composer to a wonderful celebration in the acoustically splendid setting of Sibelius Hall. The Artistic Director of the festival is the distinguished Chief Conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Dalia Stasevska.
The Sibelius Festival delves into the folk-music connections of Sibelius’s works
The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s autumn season will begin with the orchestra’s 22nd International Sibelius Festival on 2–5 September 2021. The festival is centred on three symphony concerts in the Sibelius Hall conducted by the orchestra’s chief conductor and the festival’s artistic director, Dalia Stasevska. The opening concert on Thursday will feature Kullervo with soloists Miina-Liisa Värelä (soprano) and Arttu Kataja (baritone), and the YL Male Voice Choir. Saturday’s orchestral concert will feature the Violin Concerto (soloist: Pekka Kuusisto) and the Fifth Symphony. The three works mentioned above are preceded by preludes composed by Timo Alakotila, which lead Sibelius’s music back to it folk-music roots. These preludes are performed by Johanna Iivanainen, Maria Kalaniemi and Mikko Iivanainen as well as Alakotila himself. Saturday’s orchestral concert will feature tone poems as well as a suite of Sibelius’s songs, ‘In the Stream of Life’, arranged by Einojuhani Rautavaara, with the British bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams as soloist.
The guest orchestra at the festival is the Finnish Baroque Orchestra (FiBO), which will perform the Lemminkäinen suite with its conductor Tomas Djupsjöbacka on authentic instruments at the Saturday afternoon concert. In Friday afternoon’s concert, the legendary actor Seela Sella will read the letters of Aino Sibelius, and Sibelius’s early piano music will be performed by the young Estonian pianist Tähe-Lee Liiv. On Saturday and Sunday, runic singing/dirge concerts will be held at Myllysaari, where the Pajolaine folk music duo will perform. The festival’s concerts are complemented by pre-concert talks, and for example a church boat trip to Myllysaari will take place as an additional event, if coronavirus restrictions and weather permit. Tickets for the church boat trip will go on sale in August.
Ticket sales for the Sibelius Festival concerts are on sale at Lippu.fi, and seating will maintain safe distances. If the coronavirus situation eases and audience restrictions are lifted, distance restrictions will be removed and extra seats will be released for sale.