The Society wishes to bring the achievements of Sibelius’s music to the largest possible readership and audience. Besides being a major symphonist, indeed one of the greatest composers of symphonies, Sibelius wrote music in many forms, which is perhaps less well known to music lovers.
He wrote an opera, choral music and cantatas, music for pageants, four string quartets, many instrumental works for violin and piano, over one hundred pieces for piano collected together in groups and over one hundred songs, mainly to Swedish texts.
His orchestral works, including Finlandia, Valse Triste and Tapiola are well known thanks to conductors performing them all over the world. But we neglect the beautiful music written for various theatre productions, including Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Maeterlink’s Pelléas et Mélisande and the startlingly original scéna, Luonnotar as a well as rarities including The Oceanides and The Bard.
On the other-hand the Violin Concerto is one of the most recorded of all 20th century violin concertos and soloists perform this wonderful work in concert halls throughout the world.
The British composer, Julian Anderson, Professor of Composition and Composer-in-Residence at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London writes:
“There is virtually no major composer working today who has not been directly affected by the work of Jean Sibelius. He is indeed definitive proof of Morton Feldman’s assertion that the people who you think are conservative might really be radical”.
The Society produces a bi-annual Journal including articles, correspondence, CD and concert reviews, forthcoming Society concerts etc.
The Society hosts concerts with music by Sibelius and composers he has influenced.
The Society has a collection of historic recordings by such conductors as Serge Koussevitzky, Armas Järnefelt and Nils-Eric Fougstedt and the violinist Janine Andrade playing the Violin Concerto. These are available for purchase from the Society.
“Just before ten to eleven I saw sixteen swans. One of the greatest experiences in my life. Oh God, what beauty! They circled over me for a long time. Disappeared into the hazy sun like a glittering, silver ribbon. Their cries were of the same woodwind timbre as those of cranes, but without any tremolo. Nature’s mystery and life’s angst!
The Fifth Symphony’s finale theme.”
A diary entry by Sibelius, April 1915
The first British Sibelius Society was established as a recording venture for the music of Sibelius by Walter Legge in the 1930’s. The results of these recordings remain available to music lovers through the many reissues on various channels, CDs etc
The modern Sibelius Society was established over forty years ago as a members’ organisation to propagate Sibelius’s life and music. Today it has enlarged its remit beyond the written word into many and various projects which include: seminars, lectures, festivals, the bi-annual Newsletter (to be renamed Journal), the issue of rare early recordings of Sibelius’s music and the building of associations with organisations such as publishers, concert halls, the BBC (through the recording of the Violin Concerto in 2019, published in 2021) and private enthusiasts.
We are the only Sibelius Society with a global membership.
The bi-annual Newsletter, published in January and July each year, will be replaced in January 2022 with a publication, The Journal, under the auspices of the United Kingdom Sibelius Society.
It will continue to publish articles written by Society members and other fans of Sibelius but the content, including CD, concert and score reviews, has gradually become more authoritative and it is a good moment to change the title to reflect this.
The Newsletter/Journal is/will be available to members of the Society.
The three latest issues can be found below. To visit the ARCHIVE, please click here.
Offers and Publications is a new innovation of the Society. It comes from the early days of the pandemic lockdown in 2020 when time allowed for rediscovery of rare LPs in the collection of Edward Clark. Many of these Society’s new CDs contain performances never released on CD before. We hope members will find them stimulating and enjoyable. The issues contain famous names including Serge Koussevitzky, a great champion of Sibelius in America and Sibelius’s brother-in-law, Armas Järnefelt. The remasterings have been carried out by some of the best professionals around the world including Mark Obert-Thorn, a true friend of the Society.
Two books are also available to members from contrasting authors:
Sibelius’s long-time Secretary, Santeri Levas, writes about conversations with Sibelius in his old-age at his home at Ainola.
Sibelius Reflections, by Edward Clark, captures a life-time’s love and admiration for the music of Jean Sibelius.
A sterling drawn cheque payable to the United Kingdom Sibelius Society
Name: The United Kingdom Sibelius Society
A/C No: 21418136
Sort Code: 60 80 08
President: Edward Clark | Chairman: Stead Steadman | Secretary: Megan Swift
President: Edward Clark
Chairman: Stead Steadman
Secretary: Megan Swift
Edward Clark, President of the UK Sibelius Society Edward Clark was converted to classical music at the age of 13 by his violin teacher at Haileybury College. This was also the same year that the Beatles hit the world stage and he retains a love for both. His teacher, David Thompson, performed the concertos by Beethoven and Sibelius and was instrumental in introducing Sibelius to Edward. A year later the BBC visited him at school for an interview after he had requested a performance of the Third Symphony for broadcast that evening. As luck would have it the symphony was relayed during the weekly music class! He studied conducting under Maurice Miles in his twenties and later with ... [Read more...]
Stead Steadman, Chairman of the UK Sibelius Society S. H. P. Steadman cannot remember when he first heard of the Sibelius Society and made the effort to join it, but it was sometime in the mists of the last century. He was struck to his core by the elemental power and transcendent beauty of the music, which seemed to have a different relationship to reality from that of the compositions of other people, whose works sounded like compositions, while those of Sibelius were more like emanations from the nature of things, channelled through one who had known human weakness as well as what strength and purity we can attain to. In a concert interval feature on Radio Three, ... [Read more...]
MEDIA – YOUTUBE
Interview Sibelius 150 – Edward Clark
Edward Clark on Sibelius
BARBIROLLISOCIETY.CO.UK Sir JOHN BARBIROLLI was one of Great Britain’s best loved conductors. He devoted his love for Sibelius through programming his works from his early career through to the end of his life. The Barbirolli Society reissues recordings by this famous conductor, either those from the studio or concert hall. There are many devoted to Sibelius, beginning with his early commercial recordings from New York.
The internationally renowned Swedish record label, BIS, has recorded every note written by Sibelius including extracts to works that have not been widely published. The recordings are among the best available with authoritative interpreters and scholarly, interesting notes on the music in each issue.