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Sibelius for the millions – BBC celebrates Finland’s centenary in Proms grand finale

The Last Night of the Proms concert will be aired live at Yle Radio 1 at 21.10 and broadcast at Yle Teema at 21.15 GMT+2.

Sakari Oramo johti BBC:n sinfoniaorkesteria Proms 2016 -festivaalin ensimmäisenä iltana Lontoossa 16. heinäkuuta.
Sakari Oramo. Image: AOP

The Last Night of the Proms concert is the highly anticipated climax to BBC’s eight-week classical music festival.

This year Finns around the world are in for a treat, as the BBC Symphony Orchestra will play Finland's national composer Sibelius’ Finlandia hymn at the Royal Albert Hall to mark Finland’s 100 years of independence.

Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra Sakari Oramo – a Finn himself – says Sibelius’ hymn was an obvious choice.

Finlandia is a famous and uplifting piece, and we managed to get the British choir to sing the words in Finnish. Their pronunciation might not be perfect, but they have worked really hard on it in rehearsals,” Oramo says.

The BBC has also commissioned a five-minute piece from composer Lotta Wehnäkoski. Wehnäkoski’s piece Flounce will open the concert.

“It’s hard to imagine how many people will listen to this concert. In terms of publicity, this is a major point in my career,” Wehnäkoski says.

Millions of listeners and viewers tune into to the concert every year.

The Last Night of the Proms concert will be aired live at Yle Radio 1 at 21.10 and broadcast at Yle Teema at 21.15 GMT+2.

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