Be part of a Sibelius 150th Birthday Greeting Video

Thank you for everyone’s contributions!

I am embarking on a project. Success is not 100% guaranteed as I’ve never done something like this before, but I’m going to try it.  I would like to make a video collage of birthday greetings for Sibelius, on the occasion of his 150th birthday.

To do this, I will like to invite all Sibelius fans to send in a short video clip of yourself/ yourselves saying “Happy Birthday, Sibelius!” (all languages welcome) to me, and I will compile them in time for 8 December, 2015, his exact birthday. I already have a handful of clips captured at the recently concluded Lahti Sibelius Festival, such as……

Do you recognize any faces in there? :)

… but to succeed, the project will need more contributors.

If you are keen to contribute,

  1. Video Tool: Use any suitable camera. Any modern smartphone should be more than capable of this.
  2. Duration: The clip should be short, about 3 seconds and up to 5 seconds. I may accept longer clips if the content is justifiable. :)
  3. File Format: please try to send a commonly playable file such as .mp4, .mov or .avi. I am not an expert in this area and am willing to see if other formats work. Just send them in and I’ll let you know. Your file size should be less than 1mb (I reckon way less than that).
  4. Deadline: please send in your video clip by 15 November 2015.
  5. Video location: the plan now is to host the video on YouTube. It will also appear on the Jean Sibelius Facebook Page that I manage.
  6. Privacy Note: obviously, if you want to join in this celebration, you have to accept that you will appear in a public video, and that your contribution is provided free of any charge or licensing issues.
  7. This project has no commercial intent or purpose. It is purely our tribute to our favourite composer. I will be sharing this worldwide and with all Sibelius-related organizations where possible/appropriate.

Use your imagination regarding where to film yourselves – it could be with a Sibelius picture, statue, at a Sibelius concert, with your CD collection, etc. I realize I should’ve started this project earlier in order to have given fans more opportunities to get this done at locations like Ainola, the Sibelius Monument or the Lahti Festival. I apologize for this oversight. Still hoping this works out well.

This project is over, but if you have any queries about it, contact me at 

Deadline: 15 November 2015



Andante festivo – New Year Greetings 2015

This has been a long time coming. I have always wanted to create a video of Sibelius’s Andante festivo, a piece so dear to my heart and I’m sure to many a Sibelian. For many years I’ve sat on the idea and done several other videos but this one I’ve put off because I want it to be really good. I also have a dilemma about whether to use the recording that first introduced me to the work, or to use Sibelius’s historic 1939 recording. The decision I made this morning – playing both versions loudly on my hifi after breakfast at home – is that ultimately I’ll do both. For now though, it will be the former – Neeme Järvi’s 1982 recording on BIS with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, a very beautiful and powerful account that still sounds fantastic to this day. The CD is 30 years old.

The photos used are from my 2014 trip to Finland, mostly of Suomenlinna and a few of Karelia. I plan to make a couple of videos this coming year for Karelia. In the meantime, Happy New Year to all! Happy 2015! Happy 150th Anniversary, Jean Sibelius!