7 pm Sibelius Hall 
Lahti Symphony Orchestra 
Dalia Stasevska, conductor 

Pohjola´s Daughter 
King Christian II, Suite 
The Swan of Tuonela 
Valse triste 
The Oceanides  

Sibelius made a very successful visit to the USA, his first and last, in 1914. During this visit he was treated like a royalty by his host Carl Stoeckel, also receiving an honorary doctorate from Yale University. The composer was most impressed with the orchestra he conducted, with players coming from New York and Boston. This concert recreates the programme heard at ‘The Music Shed’ in 1914.   

Pohjola’s Daughter is one of the greatest of Sibelius’s tone poems, premiered on 29th December 1906 at the Mariinsky Theatre, Russia, where the orchestra loved it and it was a huge success. From it one can find traces of the Kalevala, but it also stands alone without any introduction.   

Though it had not yet been performed, Sibelius rewrote The Oceanides specifically for his visit to the USA where it was premiered. The critic Olin Downes called the piece ‘the finest evocation of the sea which has ever been produced in music’.   

6 pm Pre-concert Talk, Sibelius Hall, Puusepän sali
Timo Virtanen – Sibelius´s Travels 



7 pm Sibelius Hall 
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra 
Daniel Harding, conductor 
Maria Dueñas, violin 
Symphony No. 1 
Symphony No. 7 
Violin Concerto 

The Stockholm concert recreates the first of three concerts on Sibelius’s visit to Stockholm in 1924, where he conducted the Konsertförening Orchestra. At Stockholm Auditorium the composer performed the Seventh Symphony for the first time – the only one of his symphonies that was not premiered in Finland.   

The First Symphony was composed in a world full of political turbulence. Sibelius responded with numerous protest compositions. Symphony No. 1 is rougher and more ascetic than his other compositions from that era.   

In Stockholm Sibelius conducted the revised version of his Violin Concerto for the first time. The violin is most definitely the king but, when the soloist falls quiet, the orchestra gets to showcase its dynamic richness.   

6 pm Pre-concert Talk, Sibelius Hall, Puusepän sali

Alex Ross – Sibelius in America: Reactionary versus Modernist  

Alex Ross is the music critic of The New Yorker and the author of the books The Rest Is Noise, Listen to This and Wagnerism.


HELSINKI – Chamber Music Concert

1 pm Kalevi Aho Hall, Lahti Music Institute

Castalian String Quartet  
Emil Holmström, piano 

Voces intimae, Op. 56 
String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 4 
Sonatina in E major for violin and piano, Op. 80 
Kyllikki, Op. 41     

At the age of 50 Sibelius was celebrated as a national hero. Two days before his birthday, on 6th December 1915, a concert took place at the Helsinki Music Institute, where most of his major chamber works from 1890–1915 were presented. The Violin Sonatina was premiered at this concert.   

The B flat major Quartet was at the time unpublished and almost unknown. It is rarely performed even today.    


5 pm Sibelius Hall 
Lahti Symphony Orchestra 
Dalia Stasevska, conductor 
Pelléas et Mélisande, Suite 
Lemminkäinen’s Return 
Symphony No. 2 

A matinée concert in Rome in 1923 with the Augusteo Orchestra introduced major works and Sibelius favourites to an Italian audience completely unfamiliar with Finland and Sibelius. The composer told the Italian journalist Alberto Gasco: ‘I dipped into the poetry and sagas of my native land and then sang my own tune.’   

The suite from Pelléas and Mélisande contains almost all of the exquisitely nuanced incidental music that Sibelius wrote for Maurice Maeterlinck’s symbolist play about forbidden love.   

20 years prior to the concert, Sibelius composed parts of the Second Symphony in Italy. This has become one of the most popular and most frequently recorded of his symphonies.   

4 pm Pre-concert Talk, Sibelius Hall, Puusepän sali
Group discussion with a representative of the Sibelius family (in Finnish)

Janne Virkkunen (Ruth Snellman), Roosamari Teppo (Eva Paloheimo), Jaakko Ilves (Katarina Ilves), Kaisa Porra-Hänninen (Margaretha Jalas) sekä Severi Blomstedt (Heidi Blomstedt).


MELODY FOREST -family concert

10 am Lahden Pikkuteatteri

Jussi Makkonen, cello
Nazig Azezian, piano
Tapani Kalliomäki, recitation

‘Can you hear how nature smells?’ One can imagine Sibelius exclaiming this while he was walking in the garden of his home, Ainola.  

The audience is 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 performers paint a vivid picture of the life and works of Finland´s national composer Jean Sibelius.