Saturday 2 Dec 2017, 12pmLevel 5 Function Room, Southbank Centre, London

What You Need to Know: Sibelius, the Arts, and Finnish Independence


Sibelius remains a national hero in Finland and is often credited with facilitating his homeland’s journey to independence in 1917.

But with the benefit of a century of hindsight, has Sibelius’s role in Finland’s freedom been fairly recounted? What was his music really saying to turn-of-the-century Finns? And what other cultural and social forces induced the country’s emancipation?

Join journalist Andrew Mellor and expert guests to explore these questions and more in preparation for the Philharmonia and Principal Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen’s celebration of Finland’s centenary on 7 December.

Tickets costs £25 and can be bought from the Southbank Centre website.



12.00 Introduction: Finland's Road to Independence - a brief timeline (Andrew Mellor)

12.15 Sibelius, Landscape and Finnish Identity (Daniel Grimley)

13.00 How Not to Think About Finland (Eveliina Pulkki)

13.45 BREAK

14.15 Performance: Toivo Kuula Piano Trio in A minor, Op 7 (excerpt)

Eunsley Park violin
Yaroslava Trofymchuck cello
Hao Zi Yoh piano

14.35 Film Material

15.00 Forging a Finland: National Traits and International Influences 1917-2017 (Andrew Mellor)

15.30 Roundup and Questions


Explore how the music of Sibelius connects to Finnish culture in this playlist curated by Andrew Mellor.


Discover the music of Sibelius in the Philharmonia's Finnish Independence concert with Esa-Pekka Salonen on 7 December.

This concert is part of the Nordic Matters series