Sibelius's Roots: An Interview with Pekka Kuusisto & Ilona Korhonen

Discover the roots of Sibelius’s music in this interview with violinist Pekka Kuusisto and singer Ilona Korhonen. In 1891, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius met Larin Paraske, a woman who was an expert in runo-song or rune singing – an ancient form of poetic storytelling. After this meeting, Sibelius’s compositions underwent an important change of style. According to Pekka Kuusisto, “Something clicks and he seems to connect to a much further back time in history. The language gets suddenly transformed into something that is sort of global and eternal. Something that can speak to pretty much, I would say, anyone anywhere, at any time.”

On 28 September 2017, Pekka Kuusisto and Ilona Korhonen present a contemporary perspective on Finnish runo-song in the Clore Ballroom at 9.45pm, following the Philharmonia Orchestra’s 7.30pm concert featuring two Sibelius symphonies. Find out what they’ve got in store, and why hearing runo-song will transform your understanding of Sibelius’ music, in this interview, filmed in rural Finland.

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Watch a full preview clip of the music here:

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