Jac van Steen conductor
Sibelius Lemminkainen and the Maidens of the Island from Lemminkainen Suite, Op 22
Sibelius Symphony No 2 in D, Op 43
Jac van Steen, pre-eminent Dutch maestro and Principal Guest Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, returns to the Academy for an all-Sibelius programme, beginning with the first movement of the Lemminkainen Suite, which was originally conceived as a Wagnerianscale mythological opera but ended up as a four-movement orchestral work. Written in the final decade of the 19th century, the first of these four sections follows the hero's journey to an island, where he seduces many women before fleeing the wrath of the native men. Sibelius's Second Symphony, written after the turn of the century in the wake of the popular Finlandia, was described by the composer as 'a confession of the soul'.