Osmo Vänskä, a Finnish conductor who is considered the best Jean Sibelius specialist among active musicians, will perform evening concerts with four orchestral works by the Finnish composer. The 2019 Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra Sibelius Special concert will take place at 8:00 p.m. on February 14 and 15 at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul.
Vänskä, who turns 66 at the end of February, has released complete Sibelius symphonies albums under the BIS Records label twice – with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in 1997 and Minnesota Orchestra in 2016. The Gramophone Classical Music Guide highly acclaimed his Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7 discs with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. The first and fourth albums of the complete symphonies collection with the Minnesota Orchestra won the Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance in 2013.
The upcoming concerts in Seoul will integrate various aspects of Sibelius, who is reinterpreted as one of the greatest maestros in Northern Europe, a naturalist and a global environmentalist. He will conduct "Finlandia," one of Sibelius's early works that erupts nationalistic enthusiasm, Violin Concerto in D minor, and the last two of the Finnish composer's seven symphonies.
Yang In-mo, the winner of the 2015 Paganini International Violin Competition in Italy and the competition's first awardee of the First Prize, will perform Sibelius' Violin Concerto in D minor op. 47. Named a resident musician by the Kumho Art Hall in 2018, he has performed various solo stages and released a concert album of "Paganini: 24 Caprices" under the Deutsche Grammophon label.