Lapland Chamber Orchestra from Finland to open Almonte in Concert’s 2017­–18 season

The most northerly professional orchestra in Finland—and in the European Union—is set to launch Almonte in Concert’s 38th season on Sunday, October 15 at 1:30 p.m.!

In existence since 1972, the 45-year-old orchestra has embarked on its first North American tour, with performances in only a few selected venues. Conductor John Storgårds, the orchestra’s artistic director since 1996, also serves as Principal Guest Conductor of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra.

And here’s a double treat for concert goers: Storgårds is an accomplished violinist and will perform as the soloist in the Lapland Chamber Orchestra’s performance of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ Suite for Violin and String Orchestra, one of the works on the programme being presented in Almonte. Although written in 1929 and dating from Sibelius’ mature period, this work has remained unknown to musicians and to the general public.  It was not until some 25 years after the composer’s death that the Suite was rediscovered. It was Storgårds who gave its world premiere in December, 1990.

The orchestra will also perform Edward Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, one of that composer’s earliest compositions to maintain a place of prominence in the standard orchestral repertory, and among the most frequently performed of his orchestral works.

Also on the programme in Almonte are four of Claude Debussy’s preludes for piano, arranged for chamber orchestra by Sven Birch.  In his cycle of 24 preludes, Debussy sought to create new sounds and to evoke increasingly abstract images for listeners to envision.

The concert will close with another Finnish work by Kalevi Aho, whose reputation as one of today’s leading orchestral composers has been steadily growing. His Symphony No. 14 – scored for strings, winds, and percussion – and entitled Rituals was composed for Storgårds and the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. The work was premiered and recorded by them, in the presence of the composer.

Before the concert, Maestro Storgårds will give an engaging introductory talk. Tickets are selling fast; in order not to miss this rare opportunity of hearing the Lapland Chamber Orchestra and conductor in an innovative and exciting concert right here in our community, we encourage you to purchase yours now.  Tickets are available online at and at Mill Street Books in Almonte.

Maureen Nevins, Artistic Director
Almonte in Concert