Mayhew recites Kalevala folklore for Sibeleus’s 150th birthday bash with Docklands Sinfonia

Children's illustrator James Mayhew performs with Docklands Sinfonia

Children's illustrator James Mayhew performs with Docklands Sinfonia - Credit: Sinfonia PR

Children’s author and illustrator James Mayhew returns to London’s East End tomorrow to join Docklands Sinfonia on stage for a tribute to Sibelius. James—famed for his Ella Bella Ballerina and Katie’s Picture Show books—reads from Finland’s epic folklore poem The Kalevala at St Anne’s Limehouse to mark the 150th anniversary of the classical composer’s birth.

Dcklands Sinfonia and [inset] music director Spencer Down

Dcklands Sinfonia and [inset] music director Spencer Down - Credit: Archant

Mayhew creates haunting paintings projected onto a large screen for tomorrow’s audience in time to the music by the Sinfonia conducted by its musical director Spencer Down.

“James Mayhew has a talent for bringing to life the myths and legends that have inspired great composers,” Spencer said. “He is joining us for this tribute just days before the 150th anniversary of Sibelius’s birth.”

Mayhew last performed with Spencer and the Sinfonia at St Anne’s in 2012 in a sell-out Christmas performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.

Tomorrow’s programme includes two Sibelius works, Karelia Suite and Lemminkäinen Suite.

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The Sinfonia musicians, led by Emma Blanco, also perform the world premiere of a cello concerto for a film currently in pre-production, written by composer, actor, director, screenwriter and novelist Michael Heath for tomorrow’s soloist, London Philharmonic cellist Greg Walmsley.

The concert starts 7.30pm at St Anne’s Limehouse parish church in Three Colt Street, off Commercial Road (DLR: Limehouse), tickets from £10 from Docklands Sinfonia’s online box office. Children under 12 free.

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