On Stage

All-British with the Tapiola Sinfonietta and Janne Nisonen

After Sakari Oramo, Janne Nisonen could very well be the next great Finnish interpreter of British music.  Orchestral programs dedicated entirely to British music are rare in the Helsinki region, so ...

The Winners of the International Classical Music Awards – ICMA 2017

The Jury of the International Classical Music Awards – ICMA today announced the winners for 2017. “The ICMA Jury comprises 16 leading media from 14 countries, having the most up to ...

Focus on Shakespeare : The Tempest by Osmo Vänskä in Helsinki

The performance  of The Tempest by Osmo Vänskä and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra was a true celebration of some of Sibelius' most forward-looking music. The work of Shakespeare and his influence ...

Death and Transcendencev : Robert Spano and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

Robert Spano led a taut and disciplined performance of Rachmaninoff's Isle of the Dead.  The subjects of death and the beyond have certainly fascinated many artists, both past and present. Among composers, ...

Commitment and confidence: Lindberg and Pettersson’s Symphony No. 7

Under Lindberg's direction, Pettersson's massive Symphony No. 7 seemed like a single, unbroken arch. This perfomance also featured the world premiere of the unfinished Symphony n°17, 36 years after its composition. In recent ...

Sir Mark Elder in Britten and Shostakovich

Elder's performance of Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem could become a reference. There may not be many obvious stylistic similarities between the orchestral works of Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich. Nevertheless, both composers sought ...

The Estonian National Symphony celebrates Gubaidulina

The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra performed two major works by Sofia Gubaidulina, in honor of the composer's 85th birthday. In the year 2016, Sofia Gubaidulina, one of the world’s greatest living ...

Plácido Domingo as Macbeth at LA Opera

Plácido Domingo offers his Macbeth to the opera company he directs. This production of Macbeth will satisfy, even inspire, the most skeptical viewer. Darko Tresnjak (winner of 4 Tony awards and ...

Susanna Mälkki’s opening concert as Music Director of the Helsinki Philharmonic

Perhaps the most memorable part of this evening was the palpable sense of joy that was radiating from the stage. Readers of my reviews from Susanna Mälkki’s recent concerts with the ...

Salonen brings Chéreau’s Elektra to Helsinki

Soprano Evelyn Herlitzius brought the necessary vocal agility and endurance to this impossibly demanding role. Opera lovers in Finland have been eagerly waiting for Esa-Pekka Salonen to bring Patrice Chéreau's now famous ...

Susanna Mälkki conducts the Helsinki Philharmonic in Sibelius and Prokofiev

Susanna Mälkki's recent programs with her future band, the Helsinki Philharmonic, have featured healthy portions of standard repertory. This is probably reassuring to the segment of the audience that might be ...

Big Success For ICMA Gala Concert In San Sebastian

The International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) organized their Award Ceremony and Gala Concert last week, April 1, at the nearly sold out Kursaal in Sebastian, where an audience of 1500 ...

The new Idomeneo at l’Opéra National du Rhin

The new Idomeneo at l’opéra national du rhin was entrusted to Christophe Gayral, already known at the house for Il matrimonio segreto and Owen Wingrave. In his conception it prefigured ...

Olari Elts conducts Ravel and Tüür

Frank Braley's performance was completely natural, effortless, and thoroughly integrated with both his musical and pianistic philosophy. The music of the Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür is often performed in Helsinki, largely ...

Christian Lindberg brings Pettersson to Antwerp

The Royal Flemish Philharmonic brought a palpable sense of commitment and confidence to Petterson’s music. In recent seasons Christian Lindberg has enjoyed a regular and fruitful collaboration with the Royal Flemish ...

Mikko Franck at home in Rautavaara, Prokofiev, and Debussy

I cannot imagine a better, more definitive performance of this music. Despite Mikko Franck's presence in the Helsinki music scene as both artistic and general director of the Finnish National Opera ...

Happy 150th birthday, Jean Sibelius!

Without a doubt, this was one of the great En Saga performances.  It has certainly been a busy year for Finland’s favorite musical son. Although Sibelius’ is a regular fixture in the ...

Finnish Independence Day Concert, edition 2015

Under Lintu's direction, the Finnish RSO played with their usual discipline and attention to detail. The annual Finnish Independence Day concert in the Helsinki Music Center is one of the major ...

The Pettersson project continues: Christian Lindberg and the Norrköping Symphony

To play this music both passionately and convincingly is truly a massive achievement, and the Norrköping band under Lindberg’s direction have done it yet again. One could argue that there are ...

Dima Slobodeniouk conducts the Helsinki Philharmonic in Prokofiev’s second symphony

Dima Slobodeniouk's skillful direction and clear affinity for this music made this performance one of the major highlights of the current Helsinki concert season. Dima Slobodeniouk is currently Music Director of ...

All-Finnish with John Storgårds and the Helsinki Philharmonic

Storgårds was able to find the elusive balance between presence and clarity. Music by living Finnish composers is an important part of programming for the Helsinki Philharmonic. While the "big three" ...

All-Russian with Susanna Mälkki and the Helsinki Philharmonic

With Mälkki on the podium, the Helsinki Philharmonic has to be heard to be believed. The appointment of Susanna Mälkki as the next music director of the Helsinki Philharmonic has ...

Original Sibelius and an Aho premiere: Hannu Lintu and the Finnish RSO

Sibelius is getting the royal treatment in his home country this year, as the music world celebrates the 150th birthday of the great composer. While performances of the usual ...

Osmo Vänskä at the Lahti Sibelius Festival

"One felt as though they could hear every detail in perfect balance." Although Finland is home to some of the world's greatest Sibelius interpreters and orchestras, the Sinfonia Lahti/Osmo Vänskä partnership ...

Sibelius con gioia: Sakari Oramo and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe

"This was Sibelius writ large, played with joyful abandon" This year the music world celebrates the 150th birthday of Sibelius, and it should come as no surprise that fans of the ...

Okko Kamu completes his Sibelius symphony cycle

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Kamu’s performance was his ability to make this arguably perfect work sound even more perfect. It should come as no surprise that lovers of Sibelius ...

Inspired by Italy: John Storgårds conducts Mendelssohn and Sibelius

A sense of refinement permeated Storgårds interpretation of the opening movement. Italy has long been a source of inspiration for diverse composers both from the past and present. In this evening's ...

Francois-Xavier Roth conducts the Finnish RSO in all-Hungarian Program

Roth managed to find the elusive balance between rustic coarseness and refinement. Francois-Xavier Roth is a not a stranger to the Finnish RSO, having previously directed these forces in a varied ...

Big Success For ICMA Ceremony And Gala In Ankara

The International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) organized their Award Ceremony and Gala Concert, 28 March at the Bilkent Concert Hall in Warsaw, hosted by the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra conducted by ...

Celebrating Sibelius in his city of birth

Okko Kamu paired the composer’s darkest and most introspective symphony with his most valedictory.  The Sinfonia Lahti has probably done more for Sibelius’ recorded legacy than any other orchestra in the ...