From the Concerto for Birds to the famous Finlandia

On Friday, February 10, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra is performing a program dedicated to Helsinki at Kolarac (8 p.m.), together with the conductor Gerrit Priessnitz and Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä. The night of Finnish composers includes the remarkable Concerto for Birds and Orchestra by Einojuhani Rautavaara as well as the premiere performance of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 7.

The BPO’s season On the Right Track arrives in Helsinki and presents Finnish music that has been dominated the cultural scene since its initial stages. The Philharmonic’s exploration of the Finnish musical landscape starts from the Arctic, with Rautavaara’s unusual composition Cantus Arcticus, written for orchestra and tape. The composition incorporates tape recordings of different sounds of birds, recorded near the Arctic Circle in northern Finland, which create, together with the orchestra, a rather unusual sound picture.

Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä, a distinguished guest of many high-profile orchestras around the world, performs with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time, with a piece dedicated to her by the recently deceased composer Jaako Kuusisto. Elina will perform the vivid and dramatic Violin Concerto on the Giovanni Battista Guadagnini instrument from 1780.

An exemplar of Finnish music, which is strongly based on its tradition, is certainly Jean Sibelius. The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra is premiering the composer’s Symphony No. 7 on Friday. The concert honors one of his best-known works as well as the entire Finnish classical music. The symphonic poem Finlandia with its hymn arrangement rounds off the concert on Friday with Gerrit Priessnitz, who is considered to be a true magician with a conductor’s baton.