A season of great celebrations

In the 2024/25 season, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 75th anniversary and the Sibelius Hall its 25th anniversary. The season will also be Dalia Stasevska’s last as principal conductor. Her imprint on the orchestra’s repertoire has been strong. A new development this season is the change in the starting time of the concerts

‘Conducting the seven Sibelius symphonies on consecutive days is a journey that has been years in the making’, says Dalia Stasevska of this year’s Sibelius Festival programme. The programme includes elements familiar from Stasevska’s previous festivals: in addition to the symphonies, there will be a folk song recital celebrating the composer’s honeymoon in Karelia, and we’ll hear the words of Aino Sibelius. The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra will perform a guest concert in Lahti, and in return the Lahti Symphony Orchestra will appear at the Helsinki Music Centre in the spring of 2025.

There is also a collaboration with the Tapiola Sinfonietta. On consecutive days, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 will be performed in Lahti and Tapiola, with an orchestra including seven horn players and two timpanists. The orchestra will also collaborate across genres with the rock band Apulanta in Tampere in October.


To mark its anniversary season, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra enters a new era with a change in the start time of its concerts. After an audience survey, we have introduced a change in the 2024/2025 season: concerts will start half an hour earlier than before, at 6.30pm. The audience’s feedback on this change will be monitored and, if it is positive, it will be made permanent.


The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s anniversary season is, in a word, a treat. Masaaki Suzuki, one of the world’s foremost conductors of early music, will make a return visit to Lahti in October. Expect a stunning exploration of music by Bach, Haydn and Mendelssohn.  

Aaron Copland’s impressive Fanfare for the Common Man was unforgettably played at the inauguration of former US President Barack Obama. Now it is paired with Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, another piece scored for wind and percussion. In the same concert, the magnificent Tuba Concerto by film composer John Williams, a work in the classical tradition, will be heard. The Violin Concerto (1987) by Philip Glass, one of the most popular works by this renowned composer for film and stage, will be given a sparkling interpretation by Norwegian violin prodigy Mari Samuelsen.

The meditative Seasons of Moominvalley by Lauri Porra, who has created a new soundscape in the visual world of Tove Jansson, will transport listeners to the world of the Moomins. ‘There have been many different animated versions of Jansson’s Moomins, but never before have they used her wonderful original drawings’, says Porra, who has been the musical advisor to Moomin Characters Ltd since 2021. Carlos da Cruz’s animation of the images isn’t fast-moving like the films, nor does it tell a complete story, but instead unfolds in small steps through the seasons of Moomin Valley.

In March, the orchestra celebrates its 75th anniversary as well as its 25th year in the Sibelius Hall. The concert opens with an adagio by Sauli Zinovjev, followed by Kaija Saariaho’s final work, the trumpet concerto HUSH, and culminates with Sibelius’s Kullervo with the YL Male Voice Choir.

The Easter celebrations include a concert featuring Mozart’s Requiem, conducted by Peter Whelan. More stunning choral music can be heard in the final concert of Dalia Stasevska’s tenure as principal conductor, for which she has chosen Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece, the Messa da Requiem.  


During Stasevska’s period as principal conductor, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s programmes have given a wel-earned and justified place to music composed by women. This season’s concerts feature works by Iceland’s Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, the Americans Joan Tower, Missy Mazzoli and Sarah Gibson, Britain’s Judith Weir, Sweden’s Andrea Tarrodi, Poland’s Grażyna Bacewicz (1909–69) and the Finns Iro Haarla, Ida Moberg (1859–1947) and Lotta Wennäkoski. Some of the pieces are here receiving their first Finnish performances. 


The Finnish musical miracle will grace the Sibelius Hall stage in a number of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s concerts. Among the soloists from the orchestra’s own ranks are tuba virtuoso Harri Lidsle and clarinettist Eeva Mäenluoma. The young generation of Finnish stars who have established themselves internationally include Berlin Philharmonic principal horn Paula Ernesaks, trumpeter Verneri Pohjola, violinists Otto Antikainen and Tami Pohjola, cellist Senja Rummukainen, violist Lilli Maijala and soprano Aurora Marthens. More seasoned colleagues include sopranos Marjukka Tepponen, Miina-Liisa Värelä and Piia Komsi, mezzo-sopranos Lilli Paasikivi and Tuija Knihtilä, tenor Markus Nykänen, baritone Ville Rusanen and bass Matti Turunen. Actress Alma Pöysti brings authentic Hollywood radiance.

In the Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s anniversary year, it will welcome a number of top Finnish conductors. Hannu Lintu, who will become the orchestra’s artistic partner in the autumn of 2025, will visit in October. Other guests in the autumn season include pianist-conductor Olli Mustonen and violinist-conductor Pekka Kuusisto. Younger colleagues include Kasmir Uusitupa, Erkki Lasonpalo, Kristian Sallinen, Sauli Saarinen and Jonas Rannila.


Sakari Oramo, professor of orchestral conducting at the Sibelius Academy of Uniarts Helsinki, will present future stars from the conducting class at a concert in late January. The concert will be a rare opportunity to witness the first steps of promising newcomers in a demanding profession. Perhaps one of them will find a place among the conductors of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in decades to come?


The Lahti Symphony Orchestra has always ensured that its programmes are varied and offer something for everyone interested in music. During the anniversary season, even the youngest audiences will be delighted with evergreen classics. For many generations of listeners Sergei Prokofiev’s musical fairy tale Peter and the Wolf has been the gateway to the world of classical music. Howard Blake’s The Snowman, a modern classic for the Christmas period, will be performed in the final film concert of the autumn season.

After the summer season, the concert hall will be back in action for another great show. The vocal ensemble Rajaton and conductor Nick Davies promise an evening of Queen’s iconic rock numbers that will really hit home. Tampere’s Nokia Arena will be filled to capacity with the best of Apulanta’s music, performed with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. The two October concerts are already fully booked.

Ticket sales starts 15th May 2024 via Lippu.fi sales channels.