This August, Susanna Mälkki will lead the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra at two of the most renowned international music festivals in Europe: Edinburgh International Festival and the Lucerne Festival. These performances will feature bold selections from the orchestra’s repertory by celebrated composers including Jean Sibelius, Kaija Saariaho and Dieter Ammann and will showcase the talents of distinguished pianist Andreas Haefliger.

On August 27 at 20:00 BST, Ms. Mälkki will return to Scotland’s capital in a thrilling appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival. Repertoire featured will include Sibelius’ Tapiola, a tone-poem inspired by the animating forest spirit ‘Tapio’ mentioned throughout the Finnish book of epic poetry, Kalevala. The HPO will also play two works by living composers: Kaija Saariaho’s Vista which happens to be dedicated to Ms. Mälkki and Dieter Ammann’s The Piano Concerto (Gran Toccata) which was written for the pianist Andreas Haefliger who will join the orchestra for this brilliant piece. This concert will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on September 15.

Ms. Mälkki will then travel to Switzerland to conduct the HPO at the Lucerne Festival on August 30 at 19:30 CEST. The orchestra will again play the same works by Sibelius, Saariaho and Ammann, with the latter two making their Swiss premieres. Per Nørgård’s Symphony No. 8, which was commissioned by the HPO and premiered in 2012, will also make its country debut in this concert.

With programmes carefully curated to showcase the chosen musical works’ special ties to the HPO, these events are not to be missed. To learn more, check out Ms. Mälkki discussing these concerts here and here.

Photo: Eric Kemnitz