In 1919, Jean Sibelius said: “If I could express with language what I can express with music, I would use words. The music starts, where the possibilities of language ends. That is why I write music.”

The dynamic Kamus Quartet celebrate 100 years of Finnish independence and mark the 60th anniversary of the death of the iconic Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius, in the beautifully atmospheric St Wilfrid’s Church.

Sibelius promoted the young Finnish composer, Rautavaara, in the 1950s, and the Kamus Quartet will play a unique programme to include this contemporary composer in their programme, ‘Finnish Voices across the Generations.’ They’ll also perform Sibelius’ masterpiece – the Voces Intimae, (Intimate Voices). The composer wrote about this work in a letter to his wife: “It turned out as something wonderful. The kind of thing that brings a smile to your lips at the hour of death. I will say no more.”

Sibelius had an exceptional love of nature. He scanned the skies for the geese flying over the lake ice and heard the cries of the curlew echo. But his life was also dogged by excess – at the height of his fame, spending exorbitant amounts on champagne and lobster.

When Finland accepted the declaration of independence in 1917 during the Russian Revolution, his music became deeply popular. The Finnish 100 mark note featured his image until 2002, when the euro was adopted. Since 2011, Finland has celebrated a Flag Day on 8 December, the composer’s birthday, also known as the “Day of Finnish Music”.


Kamus String Quartet: Finnish Voices across the Generations, Sunday 16 July, 7.30pm, St. Wilfrid’s Church.

For more information or to book tickets please click here or call 01423 562303