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London Symphony Orchestra/Dima Slobodeniouk

Sibelius Symphony No 2

Baiba Skride holding a violin.

Sibelius’s Second Symphony crowns a concert that begins with Sofia Gubaidulina’s Offertorium – a true modern classic, performed by the incomparable Baiba Skride.

Sofia Gubaidulina’s Offertorium takes a fragment of Bach, and grows it into one of the greatest of 20th-century violin concertos. And Sibelius begins his Second Symphony with a gentle pulse and a scrap of a dance tune: but by the end, it’s vast enough – and stirring enough – to carry the hopes and dreams of a whole nation. 

In other words, it’s what you do with it that counts, and as principal conductor of Finland’s Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Dima Slobodeniouk has won widespread admiration for the way he gets inside the music of Sibelius. But first the London Symphony Orchestra are thrilled to welcome back Baiba Skride: and with her formidable musical intelligence and a tone that’s as articulate (and as sensitive) as a human voice, it’s hard to imagine a more compelling champion for Gubaidulina’s wordless spiritual odyssey. 

This performance will finish at approximately 9.05pm, including a 20-minute interval

Barbican Hall