The 150th Anniversary year

The year 2015 will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Events during the jubilee year will include the XI International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition, an international conference for Sibelius scholars, and the annual Sibelius festivals.

Jean Sibelius (8.12.1865–20.9.1957) is far more than the composer of seven symphonies, a violin concerto, Finlandia and Valse triste – he also wrote a wealth of chamber music suitable for musicians both young and old, songs, and music for different types of choirs. His tone poems and music for the stage add variety to the concert programmes of symphony orchestras. Sibelius’s long life was a great adventure we would like to tell you about as his 150th anniversary approaches.

The Sibelius Society of Finland

The Society was founded in 1957 to carry out major projects connected with Jean Sibelius. Its chief tasks today are arranging the Jean Sibelius Violin Competition and the preparation of a new critical edition of Sibelius’s collected works. There are Sibelius Societies in Britain, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Japan and the USA.

The Sibelius Society of Finland

First International Jean Sibelius Composition Competition

The first International Jean Sibelius Composition Competition is organized as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of Finland’s most prestigious composer. The aim of the competition is to gain new, high-quality repertoire for choirs, pianists and violinists. Its goal is to be an important event nationally and internationally and to emphasize the idea of continuous creativity, one of the main themes of the Sibelius anniversary year.

We gratefully acknowledge the support from the Finnish Cultural Foundation and from the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.

Read more about the rules of the competition.

My Sibelius – Sibelius 150th Anniversary Publication

The book, edited by Janne Virkkunen, Lasse Lehtinen and Anna Krohn, will come out in December 2014. In 19 articles prominent figures in music describe their personal relation to Sibelius’s music. There will also be two articles by Sibelius’s descendants who will recall their childhood memories. The book will be published in Finnish, Swedish, English and German by the Sibelius Birth Town Foundation and Karisto with the financial assistance from the Ministry of Education.

More about the book here.

The III International Sibelius Singing Competition in Järvenpää, April 19 – 25, 2015

Jean Sibelius wrote more than a hundred solo songs. The International Sibelius Singing Competition aims to keep these treasures in the core vocal repertoire. Jean Sibelius lived at his Ainola home in Järvenpää for over 50 years. It is thus natural for the Sibelius Singing Competition to be held at the Sibelius Hall in Järvenpää.

Read more: Sibelius Singing Competition

Sibelius & Korpo Music Festival in the archipelago, July 16 – 19, 2015

An annual festival focusing on Sibelius’s chamber music is held on the little island of Korpo in the southwest Finland archipelago. So far over 200 works by him have been performed. The main concert venue is the old Korpo stone church dating from the 1430s.

Sibelius Festival at the Sibelius Hall in Lahti, August 31 – September 6, 2015

BBC Symphony Orchestra (London) to make guest appearance at the Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s Sibelius Festival in 2015.
Kamu, Vänskä, Saraste, Oramo and Segerstam will conduct at the festival.

The XI International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition, November 22 – December 3, 2015

One of the world’s leading music competitions, the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition was first held in 1965 and is organised by the Sibelius Society of Finland and the Sibelius Academy. Each of the rounds includes both compulsory and optional works. The finalists must play the Sibelius Violin Concerto and another concerto of their choice. The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra accompany the finalists.

The VI International Jean Sibelius Conference in Hämeenlinna, December 4 – 8, 2015

Sibelius scholars from all over the world meet every five years. The conference will next be in the composer’s home town, Hämeenlinna, in honour of the anniversary.

Sibelius Website by Finnish Broadcasting Company

Upload your Sibelius Events to the Event Calendar

The website is maintained by the Sibelius Birth Town Foundation and its purpose is to coordinate the anniversary festivities. The event calendar on the website offers everyone a chance to add and manage their Sibelius Anniversary event in the website’s calendar. The calendar events may contain an event image, title, description, performers, featured works, start and ending dates and times, venue, and category. Download the instructions and get started!

Instructions for Updating the Sibelius 150th Anniversary Event Calendar

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), Illustrated by Lasse Rantanen

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), Illustrated by Lasse Rantanen