Famous compositions from the Finnish composer J.J.C. Sibelius , including Finlandia and Valse Triste, will be performed by the rewarded Finnish musicians violoncellist Jussi Makkonen and pianist Rait Karm at the French Cultural Centre, L’Espace, on May 20. The concert is arranged by the Finnish embassy to mark European Days in Vietnam.
Johan Julius Christian Sibelius (1865-1957) was a composer of the later Romantic period whose music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity.
The core of Sibelius’s oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies. Like Beethoven, Sibelius used each one to develop further his own personal compositional style. These works continue to be recorded and performed. In addition to the symphonies, Sibelius’ best-known compositions include Finlandia, Valse Triste, the Karelia Suite and the Swan of Tuonela and symphonic poems. He is often cited as one of the leading symphony composers of the 20th century and is the most famous Finnish composer of all time. Sibelius remains the only Finn to have his death marked by a moment’s silence at the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Jussi Makkonen graduated from the Sibelius Academy with a Master’s degree in music. He was awarded first prize in the national EBU Competition for Young Soloists and since then has performed throughout Finland and in most European countries, as well as in the US. Rait Karm pursued postgraduate studies in Lied and Chamber Music at the Zurich School of Music, Drama and Dance. He has been awarded prizes in competitions for young pianists in Cze choslovakia and Estonia. Karm has performed widely as a soloist, chamber musician and Lied pianist in Finland, Estonia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Hungary Czech Republic and the US.