It’s not just Sibelius and Nielsen – even if the Barbican Centre in London, just as an example, is stuffed with them at the moment: Sibelius this week as Simon Rattle conducts a complete symphonic cycle with the Berlin Philharmonic, and Nielsen as Sakari Oramo continues his season-long Nielsen cycle. There are plenty of other Scandinavian symphonists worth celebrating, even if they don’t have the numerical advantage of an especially auspicious anniversary this year (both Sibelius and Nielsen were born exactly 150 years ago). So here’s my selection of 10 other Scandowegian symphonists of the 21st, 20th, and 19th centuries to get your ears stuck into!
1. The progenitor of the Swedish symphony, Franz Berwald’s four works in the genre are among the mid-19th century’s most satisfying essays – and also among the most neglected on concert programmes.