On July 14, Susanna Mälkki leads the London Symphony Orchestra for her second event at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence with fellow conductor Clément Mao-Takacs. The evening will feature a thrilling program of works by Sibelius, Saariaho, and Stravinsky, with star soloists baritone Stéphane Degout, soprano Beate Mordal, and violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja.

The program will begin with Sibelius’ The Oceanides, Op. 73, a tone poem he wrote on his only trip to the United States. At its premiere in 1914, critics called the work “the finest evocation of the sea … ever … produced in music.” Following is Kaaija Saariaho’s Cinq Reflets de L’Amour de loin, a series of pieces taken from Saariaho’s first operatic masterpiece, which Mälkki conducted the opera for her house debut at the Metropolitan Opera. 

Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja performs Stravinsky’s cheerful and melancholic Concerto, which never strays from its virtuosic qualities. The program closes with Sibelius’ final completed symphony, his Symphony No. 7. Known as a spiritual testament to the composer, Sibelius said the work is filled with “joy of life and vitality.” 

Photo credit: Jiyang Chen