Osmo Vänskä on programming Sibelius’s symphonies alongside British concertos

This week we embark on our complete cycle of Sibelius's symphonies with Osmo Vänskä, presented across four concerts and paired with British concertos of the same era. We recently sat down with Vänskä to discuss the upcoming cycle, and here he explains why combining the symphonies of Finland's most famous composer with concertos by British composers seemed like a natural fit. 

'I would say that England was the first place Sibelius was really accepted, and people welcomed him and his music to London. Therefore we believe that many composers in Britain listened to the music of Sibelius, so it’s a natural connection to put these factors together.

I think it might not only be Sibelius, but rather a character of Finnish people that we might not laugh as much as other people, but it does not mean that we are not happy. I’m only half-joking when I try to describe something about the music of Sibelius, or any Finnish music, and I tell the orchestra that it’s so sad and there are lots of tears, but you have to remember that the Finnish people are happiest when they are crying.'

Osmo Vänskä

Find out more about our Sibelius Symphony Cycle and book tickets here