Philharmonia Orchestra with its leading principal conductor and artistic advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen has invited Orphei Drängar to perform the Kullervo symphony by Jean Sibelius both as part of Berliner Festspiele in Berlin as well as in the London home of the orchestra, Royal Festival Hall. The concerts are held on Tuesday 6 September in Berlin and Sunday 25 September in London.
The London concerts is the opening concert for Philharmonia Orchestra’s 2011/2012 season.
– We of course feel greatly honored that a Finnish conductor wants to do this great choral piece by their national composer together with Orphei Drängar. OD puts 100 singers on the podium at the concerts in Berlin och London, which gives us an opportunity to show this piece in the right light, says Cecilia Rydinger Alin, OD’s conductor.
Sibelius’s youth composition, the Kullervo symphony, with its story drawn from the national epic Kalevala is not played very often. The piece requires both a large orchestra and a large male chorus. But in September OD will sing Kullervo together with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Philharmonia Orchestra, one of the world’s greates orchestras.
– It is extremely stimulating to get the opportunity to work with the great orchestras and conductors. The choir lifts itself from an already high level and develops fuerther, says Cecilia Rydinger Alin.
In connection with the concert in London OD will also perform a pre-concert recital in Royal Festival Hall offering Nordic male chorus music written around the ssame time as the Kullervo Symphony. With the recital as a contrast to the Kullervo Symphony the audience will hear how far ahead Jean Sibelius really was musically with compositions that were far from the traditional national romanticism that was featured in contemporary Nordic music at the time.