Cairo Opera House and the Finnish Embassy in Cairo will celebrate during 2015 the passing of 150 years for the birth of the famous Finnish classical composer Jean Sibelius (1865 –1957).
The celebration includes concerts playing symphonies and works of the Finnish composer by maestro Ahmed AlSaedi and Cairo Symphony Orchestra. Sibelius belongs to the famous line of European composers of the late romantic period like Beethoven, Mahler and Wagner. Sibelius music was important in forming Finnish national identity. In this way he was like some of the Egyptian national composers such as Sayed Darwish (1892-1923) who helped form the modern Egyptian national identity. Not surprisingly the music of Sibelius was generously borrowed in many dramatic Egyptian films particularly his famous national piece, Finlandia.
Sibelius was so important in Finnish history that the old 100 Finnish Markka bill had featured his image until it was taken out of circulation in 2002 when the Euro was adopted as a national currency. Since 2011, Finland has celebrated 8 December, the composer's birthday, as the 'Day of Finnish Music'. Sibelius is a well-known figure in the world of classical music especially for his famous 7 symphonies, Finlandia, Karelia Suite, the tone poem Tapiola, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto in D minor, Kullervo, and The Swan of Tuonela among other celebrated works. Sibelius loved nature, and the Finnish landscape often served as material for his music like his 6th symphony and Tapiola. Sibelius remains one of the most popular 20th century symphonists, both in the concert hall and on record.
Cairo Opera House is planning to play many of his famous works throughout 2015, including all the 7 symphonies. The first concert will be held at the Main Hall of the Opera House on Saturday 24. January at 8 p.m conducted by Maestro Ahmed El Saedi, with soloist Anastasia Chebotareva. The all-Sibelius program will include the Karelia Suite, Op. 11, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Minor and Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39.
The concert series conducted by Maestro El Saedi will continue with the following program during the spring 2015:
Saturday 7. March 2015: J. Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43
Saturday, 11. April 2015: J. Sibelius: Symphony No. 3 in C Major, Op. 52
Saturday, 23. May 2015: J. Sibelius: Symphony No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 63
More concerts will be held during the entire year till the end of December, 2015.