The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s coming season features earworms and epic works

During the 2023–24 season, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra will perform masterpieces by Mahler and Beethoven as well as the original version of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire, and will make a visit to Amsterdam. The guest conductors and soloists include exciting debut performers as well as highly anticipated returning guests.

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s coming season is rich in variety. ‘Our season will be full of colour, joy and familiar earworms. Beethoven’s iconic Fifth and Ninth Symphonies will be heard alongside exciting premieres’, says acting general manager Maija Kylkilahti.

Top conductors from around the world

Beethoven’s Fifth will be conducted by Hannu Lintu, making his much-anticipated return to Lahti. The internationally acclaimed Matthias Pintscher has also accepted the invitation to return. His programme includes Mahler’s impressive Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth). Conductors familiar to Lahti audiences from previous visits include Roderick Cox and Sir Mark Elder.

Making their debuts with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra will be Gemma New, principal conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; the up-and-coming Nil Venditti; Martyn Brabbins, music director of English National Opera (ENO); and French conductor and oboist François Leleux. The brightest star of the Independence Day concert will be a young violinist for whom the future is very promising, the 12-year-old Lilja Haatainen.

Women in the spotlight and new works

Swedish violinist Johan Dalene makes his solo debut in Lahti playing Tebogo Monnakgotla’s Violin Concerto for the first time in Finland. Born and raised in Uppsala, Monnakgotla is one of the most successful contemporary composers in Sweden. Birds of Paradise by Andrea Tarrodi, another successful Swedish female composer, will be performed at the same concert. This work is inspired by the wondrous and beautiful birds featured in the BBC series Planet Earth.

An absolute highlight of the coming concert season will be Arnold Schoenberg’s 1912 cult classic Pierrot lunaire. Originally written for recitation, this melodrama with lyrics, ‘three times seven poems by Albert Giraud’, is here interpreted by the actress Maria Ylipää. The performance will be directed by the dancer and choreographer Carl Knif, and the concert is a collaboration with the Lahti Conservatory.

Legends in the FOCUS series

In the Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s autumn FOCUS concert series, we pay tribute to Jaakko Kuusisto. His Violin Concerto will feature Elina Vähälä as soloist and will be conducted by Osmo Vänskä. The second FOCUS artist is Kalevi Aho, who will turn 75 in 2024. The concert, conducted by Erkki Lasonpalo, will feature not only music by Aho but also works that have inspired him.

Sibelius at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra kicks off the spring with a concert visit to Amsterdam’s iconic Concertgebouw. This guest appearance at one of the world’s finest concert halls will be conducted by principal conductor Dalia Stasevska. The programme includes Jean Sibelius’s Tapiola and Fifth Symphony and Igor Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, with Leila Josefowicz, one of the most celebrated violinists of recent decades, as soloist. The same programme will be performed in Lahti at a pre-departure concert on 25 January.

Great entertainment and special concerts

As always, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s season also includes plenty of special and light music concerts. At the beginning of the season, the orchestra will dance its audience back into the concert halls with its hugely popular ABBA concerts. Two ‘Thank You For The Music’ concerts will feature ABBA’s greatest hits performed by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s regular partner, the vocal ensemble Rajaton. The most popular songs from Samuli Edelmann’s two Vaiheet albums will be arranged for symphony orchestra. And as the perfect gift for the Christmas season, American jazz royalty Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra will set the mood for Christmas. Special concerts include a concert by the semi-finalists of the International Paulo Cello Competition in October.

The description ‘epic’ can be given to the film night, where the first part of George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy, A New Hope, will be performed, accompanied by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. The legendary music of John Williams, lightsabers and Princess Leia’s ‘cinnamon buns’ hairstyle will make for an extraordinary experience: may the force be with you!

Tickets on sale from 10 am on Wednesday 3 May at, except for Sibelius Festival concerts and Abba concerts, which are already on sale. 

Season tickets on sale from 23 March to 21 September 2023.