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Heartily welcome to our home pages.

Welcome dear friends, the Sibelius in Korpo festival takes place this summer for the eighteenth time, in this beautiful sunny archipelago environment. The scale of this summers festival is for us by far the largest and also the most challenging in the history of the festival. Traditionally the festival has comprised three concerts each year. This summer we will have seven concerts. 

In six concerts we will present all Jean Sibelius compositions for piano, the seventh concert will be dedicated to the piano music of Armas Järnefelt. This year we are celebrating the 150th anniversary since the birth of Jean Sibelius brother-in- law. 

As fas as we know Sibelius’ pianoproduction has never before been presented in full during a festival. We are excited and also proud about doing this in Korpo this July. 

We are also happy for being able to wish welcome to Korpo a group of internationally renowned pianoartists – many of them are visiting Korpo for the first time. 

 I wish all of you in the audience  enjoyable, personal experiences with the piano music of Jean Sibelius and Armas Järnefelt in the beautiful Korpo Manor.

Petri Kirkkomäki

Executive Director

Sibelius in Korpo festival


Distinguished Concert Listener, a warm welcome to our concerts at the 18th Edition of the Sibelius in Korpo festival! This summer we are going to plunge deep into the treasures of piano music - we are going to perform the complete amount of piano pieces by Sibelius and his brother-in-law, Armas Järnefelt.

Considering the number of quality grand pianos per capita, Finland ranks internationally as No. 2 after Japan. We share the long tradition to regard the piano recital as a highly esteemed genre of art, which we have in common with most countries in Europe. For decades, concert visitors have got fascinated by the pearling quality of the melodies in good piano music. 

Piano music is romantic and poetic – in Sibelius’s piano works there is also perceptible an inclination towards decorative ornamentation, typical to the Art Nouveau period. Sometimes you seem to listen to small edgings of stylized swans or lilies in the shapes of tiny arabesques played grazioso.


Armas Järnefelt 150

As we celebrated the 150 Anniversary of Oskar Merikanto last year, we immediately got a new suggestion by our appreciated designer Severi Blomstedt: Why couldn’t we this summer commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the birth of the composer Armas Järnefelt (1869–1958)?

This brilliant idea is now realized: Mikko Sajari, daughter’s son of Armas Järnefelt, is personally going to open a Järnefelt exhibition at the Korpo Gård, Saturday 20th July at 5.15 pm. This is followed by an almost complete presentation of Järnefelt’s piano music. A recently discovered Waltz in F major (1892) is going to receive its World Première Performance.

Sibelius’s 187 piano compositions complete

This year we focus mainly on Sibelius’s complete piano production, which is performed on 7 extensive concerts. We have an extraordinary group of internationally qualified pianists, Terhi Dostal from Berlin, Laura Mikkola from Paris, Janne Mertanen from Joensuu, who has recently recorded all the original opus numbered piano works by Sibelius, the new British Sibelius expert Jospeh Tong, and last but not least, Sae Iida from Tokyo - one of the instigators to a praise-worthy project in 2015: 14 Japanese pianists performed all of Sibelius’s opus numbered original solo piano works on concerts both in Japan and Finland.

However, this time the playing time is going to be increased by almost 4 hours, because in addition to the standard opus numbered canon, Sibelius’s youth production for piano, as well as the complete amount of his original arrangements for piano is going to be performed.

Each part of the programme is provided with a concise stylistic description. The late professor Erik Tawaststjerna divided the production of Sibelius into three stylistic periods, to which I have added the earliest phase, the youth production:

The Youth Production, 1885-89, famous compositions; The Hafträsk Trio (1886), the Korpo Trio (1887), the Lovisa Trio (1888), Sång till Näcken (1888), etc.

The National Romantic Period, 1890-1906, famous compositions; Piano quintet (1890), Kullervo (1892), Finlandia                                    (1898), Symphonies 1 (1899) and 2 (1902)

The Period of Style Metamorphoses , 1906-20, famous compositions; Symphonies 3 (1906), 4 (1911) and 5 (1915/1916/1919), Jordens sång (1919)

The Period of Synthesis, 1923-29, famous compositions; Symphonies 6 (1923) and 7 (1924), the Tempest (1925), Tapiola (1926)

A consistent chronology is applied within each part of the programmes, but each concert generally contains more than one stylistic period.

The Sibelius family spent many an inofficial, prolonged musical soirée at the famous music salon of Korpo Gård in the summer of 1887. We are grateful to the today hostess of the manor, Tuulikki Wahe-Rohrbach, who together with her youngsters Kira and Juhani, Gesa and Markus, once again is letting us visit this beautiful house. We have admired, how they each year have improved or renovated some part of the corp de logis or the beautiful surroundings.

Welcome to enjoy listening trances unheard of in the company of our Finnish national romantic composers.

Folke Gräsbeck

Artistic Director 

Sibelius in Korpo festival






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Sibelius iN korpo festival

The Festival Sibelius in Korpo has taken place since 2002. During these 16 years, 2002–2017, more than 270 compositions by Jean Sibelius have been performed, 26 of them as world première performances. The festival has gained a reputation as a special forum for Sibelius’s music – at the concerts rare compositions from his youth are heard alongside well-known masterpieces. The aim is to shed light on the various stylistic phases of Sibelius’s œuvre. Since the start in 2002, the programmes have been designed by the festival’s artistic director, pianist Folke Gräsbeck. Since 2012, baritone Petri Kirkkomäki has been director of administration.  

‘The Sibelius siblings lifted Uncle Pehr’s square piano into the fishing boat, and they played piano trio on the waves. Janne played the violin, Christian the cello and Linda the piano.’ 

Historical background

The Sibelius family spent summer holidays in Korpo in the Åbo (Turku) archipelago in 1886 and 1887. The first summer the family stayed on the big northern island of Norrskata, at the Vidix House, situated on the beautiful Hafträsk Bay. The second summer was spent in the centre of the Korpo church village, at Korpo Manor. Sibelius composed a major piano trio each summer, in 1886 the ‘Hafträsk’ Trio, JS 207, and in 1887 the ‘Korpo’ Trio, JS 209. Both works are the foremost compositions from their respective years. In addition, Sibelius composed around 20 other works. These have formed the basis of the festival’s concert programmes. 

The festival takes place regularly on the penultimate weekend of July. Since 2011, concerts have been arranged on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In addition, a welcoming ceremony has been held on Saturday afternoon at the Sibelius monument (depicting the young Sibelius with his violin). The monument was unveiled in 2006 at the centre of the church village, close to the medieval Korpo Church. Orchestral and choir concerts have been held at the church, while other concerts have been arranged mainly at Korpo Manor (1805), designed by the Italian architect Charles Bassi. The manor’s famous musical salon is located upstairs, and provides an excellent acoustic. In this salon, the Sibelius family members spent many lengthy musical soirées during the summer of 1887. Their hostess Ina Wilenius, a talented pianist, was also an active player. In 2003, a high quality Grotrian Steinweg grand piano was acquired, and many of the concerts have been broadcast by Finnish Radio.



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Pictures from SIBELIUS IN KORPO throughout the years

Sibelius opera “The maiden in the tower”, the muncipality house of Korpo, 2015

Brahe Djäknar at the Sibelius statue, 2015

Brahe Djäknar and Florakören, conductor Ulf Långbacka

Monica Groop and Folke Gräsbeck, 2015

The artists and the executive director after the festival 2017

Sue Knighton - Australia

Sue Knighton and The Flinders Quartet 2015 - Australia

Satu Jalas, 2016

Satu Jalas plays with Sibelius' violin, 2016

Folke Gräsbeck, 2016

Folke Gräsbeck and Sebastian Silén, 2016

Folke Gräsbeck and Satu Jalas, 2016

Mari Palo and Folke Gräsbeck, 2017


2002 – 2017



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