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Rouvali conducts Sibelius


Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali on stage


Santtu-Matias Rouvali – conductor

Nemanja Radulović – violin


Kodály Háry János Suite Listen

Khachaturian Violin Concerto Listen

— Interval —

Sibelius Symphony No. 5 Listen

Take a musical journey with “the hottest conductor in Finland” (The Times), from earthy soldiers’ tales to the ecstatic heights of Sibelius.

Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony would make it into many listeners’ top ten. It begins with a whisper from horns and timpani, which spreads through the woodwind section in a glorious evocation of sunrise. The second movement is a set of variations on a simple, wistful theme. Then comes the moment Sibelius fans have been waiting for – the magnificent ‘swan’ theme of the finale, with its jubilant horn chords and sweeping strings. Sibelius wrote it after witnessing the awe-inspiring sight of sixteen swans in flight: “One of the great experiences of my life! God, how beautiful,” he wrote in his diary.

Violinist Nemanja Radulović topped the classical charts with his recording of Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto for Deutsche Grammophon in 2018. He has all the virtuosity required for the folk-infused first movement, the soulfulness for the second movement’s melancholy song, and the flamboyance for the fiery finale.

To open the evening, Santtu-Matias Rouvali introduces us to Háry János, the eponymous protagonist of Kodály’s folk opera. In the suite Kodály created from the opera, Hungarian cimbalom, alto saxophone, tubular bells and bass trombone are invoked to add their vivid colours to the tall tales of an old soldier.

Need to know

Prices & Discounts

£16 – £42

Subscription discounts available; under-25s and concession discounts available

Running time

1 hour 55 minutes, including 20-minute interval

Recommended age

From 7+

Box office

Anvil Arts box office: 01256 844244


The Anvil, Basingstoke

The Anvil

Churchill Way
RG21 7QR

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Watch trailer


Trailer: Rouvali conducts Sibelius 5

Listening guide


Listening Guide: Sibelius Symphony No. 5