“Let there be light” benefit concert

Benefit concert for Ukraine

The Helsinki Music Centre’s concert hall will host a concert in support of Ukraine, featuring the Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dalia Stasevska, along with 34 Ukrainian music students.

The income from the concert will be directed to support music education in Ukraine. Concert attendees have the option to donate an additional amount alongside the ticket price. University’s personnel or stakeholder season tickets are not valid at this concert.

The programme includes a piece by Ukrainian composer Bohdana Frolyak titled “Let There Be Light”, Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with Elina Vähälä as the soloist, Uuno Klami’s Kalevala Suite Op. 23 and Myroslav Skoryk’s “Melody”. Stasevska conducted the premiere of Frolyak’s piece at the London PROMS festival in 2023.

Further information about the pieces

The titular piece of the concert, Bohdan Frolyak’s (1968–) “Let there be light,” commissioned by BBC Proms, represents richness in color. Stasevska conducted the premiere of the piece at the Proms festival in 2023. The composition begins with the serene shades of French impressionism. Contrasting these are the dark and menacing motifs of the low brass, culminating in a huge climax that gradually leads towards the light. The roles of the instrumental groups shift: the lows become more tranquil, while the flutes and other high-pitched instruments create tension, but in the end, light and hope remain.

Frolyak’s Finnish counterpart is Uuno Klami’s (1900—1961) “Finnish Rite,” called the Kalevala Suite (1929–1943). The inspiration for this piece also comes from the modern primitivism of Stravinsky, Ravel, and de Falla in France. This also explains the paradox: Klami protested against the previous generation’s nationalism and did not want to write Finnish-themed works. However, the Kalevala Suite is one of his most famous and beloved compositions. The Kalevala Suite brought Ravel’s tonality and Stravinsky’s robust rhythms into Finnish orchestral music. Both Frolyak and Klami handle the symphony orchestra masterfully.

One of the most iconic pieces of Finnish orchestral music is Sibelius’s (1865–1957) Violin Concerto, which still garners immense admiration for its originality, described by Ernst Pingaud as a “remarkably fragile yet powerful” composition. In our concert, the brilliant Elina Vähälä performs as the soloist.

Myroslav Skoryk’s (1938–2020) “Melody” rose to iconic status on international stages as a symbol of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Its melancholic theme was inspired by Ukrainian folk music. The Melody speaks from heart to heart.


  • Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra & Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
  • Dalia Stasevska, conductor
  • Elina Vähälä, violin


  • Frolyak: Let There Be Light
  • Sibelius: Violin Concerto Op. 47
  • Skoryk: Melody
  • Klami: Kalevala Suite Op. 23

Dalia Stasevska was named the Alum of the Year by Uniarts Helsinki in 2022. The benefit concert is her alumni project, aimed at supporting high-quality orchestral education in Ukraine and encouraging Ukrainian music students during difficult times. The concert will feature 34 young talented Ukrainian musicians, some of whom have remained in the country while others have left due to the war. They have been brought together by the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (YsOU). Finnish professional orchestra musicians will serve as coaches during rehearsals leading up to the concert.

This concert has been kindly supported by Konstsamfundet, Sibelius Academy Foundation and Jane and Aatos Erkko foundation.
In collaboration with the Helsinki Music Centre, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tapiola Sinfonietta.

Further information: Nina Lackman, nina.lackman@uniarts.fi

Watch a free live stream of the concert


6.4.2024 at 19:00


Concert Hall

Mannerheimintie 13a

00100 Helsinki

Helsinki Music Centre

Watch a free live stream of the concert


11,50–34 €, ticket sale starts soon

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