Director’s choice: How to celebrate Finnish Independence in London this week?

Director’s choice: How to celebrate Finnish Independence in London this week?

Emilie Gardberg, the director of the Finnish Institute in London, gives her recommendations for celebrating Finnish Independence with classical music.

Philharmonia Orchestra: Rouvali conducts Strauss

This Thursday is the Finnish Independence Day, and you can treat yourself to one of the most grandiose classical programming this fall in London. The exiting Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali will return to conduct Philharmonia Orchestra with an exquisite all-Strauss program. We hear the Four Last Songs, with its riveting movement Beim Schlafengehen and after the interval Rouvali will surely bring the house down with the grandiose Alpine Symphony – a program fit for us Finns when celebrating a 101-year old.

Rouvali conducts Strauss, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. 6.12.2018. Admission: £12–£58.

English National Opera: War Requiem

Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem plays at English National Opera until December 7th. This critically acclaimed production is not to miss – it offers grand singing by brilliant soloists and a large choir. A powerful production by ENO to mark the centenary of the end of World War I is a good way to cap this year filled with memories from one of Europe’s biggest traumas.

War Requiem, London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES.  Until 7.12.2018. Admission: £20–£125.

Spitalfields music festival: Unknown, Remembered

For a more intimate experience, join the Spitalfields music festival curated by Andre de Ridder, who is also artistic director of the Musica Nova in Helsinki in February 2019. The production Unknown, Remembered runs until December 9th and is a unique site-specific promenade performance which is based on Handel’s cantata La Lucrezia. And there is an additional Finnish element, the keyboard is played by Finnish Marianna Henriksson.

Unknown, Remembered, Studio 9294, 92 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN.  Until 9.12.2018. Admission: £10–£25.

Photo: Southbank Centre

What’s On