Sibelius Festival

The position of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) as Finland’s national composer is probably incontestable; his significance for the history of Finnish music is unparalleled. Sibelius is also Finland’s most famous composer internationally, whose music has won admirers in all parts of the globe. With its annual Sibelius Festival, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra aims to gather together Sibelius’s friends from all over the world and to offer them a truly memorable weekend in the company of Sibelius’s music.


A complete symphony cycle is the theme of the Lahti Sibelius Festival in its 25th anniversary year
Guest performers include the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and soprano Golda Schultz

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s 25th International Sibelius Festival will take place at the Sibelius Hall in Lahti from 29 to 31 August 2024, crowning the four-year term as the festival’s artistic director of Dalia Stasevska, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s principal conductor. The festival will feature all seven of Sibelius’s symphonies and Luonnotar under her baton.

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra will open the festival on Thursday 29 August with Symphonies Nos 1 and 2, while the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s guest concert on Friday 30 August will include Symphonies Nos 3 and 5 and Luonnotar, with the South African soprano Golda Schultz as soloist – her first appearance in Lahti. The final concert on Saturday 31 August will feature Symphonies Nos 4, 6 and 7. The orchestral concerts will be complemented by a narrative runic singing concert by the Pajolaine Folk Song Duo on Friday and a chamber music concert on Saturday afternoon, in which the legendary actress Seela Sella will read Aino Sibelius’s letters and Vilina Rainisto will perform a selection of Sibelius’s piano music. As usual, all the orchestral concerts will be preceded by a pre-concert talk. 

The visual aspect of the festival is designed by Klaus Haapaniemi, one of Finland’s most internationally renowned designers. The design is inspired by Lake Vesijärvi and its fantasy world beneath the surface, the sky and constellations above, and an underwater choir.

The Sibelius Festival, held annually at the Sibelius Hall, has become firmly established on the calendar of international music festivals. Osmo Vänskä, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Okko Kamu, Dima Slobodeniouk and, most recently, Dalia Stasevska have served as its artistic directors. Over the years, guest appearances have been made by many world-class individual performers and orchestras. The Festival has a large and well-established international audience, with listeners from 21 countries present at the 2023 Festival.

The Festival pass inludes orchestral concerts Thu–Sat and also cloakroom charge, concert programme and Sibelius Festival bag.