Tuesday, December 8, 2009

‘Happy Birthday Bro. Sibelius’

I heard on the radio this morning that today is the 144th anniversary of the birth of Bro. Jean Sibelius who, like Mozart before him, composed immortal music in celebration of Freemasonry for ritual use within the Temple and for enjoyment without.

His lodge was Suomi Lodge No. 1, which was chartered by the Grand Lodge of New York, and whose earliest minutes record Sibelius’ intention to compose “original, genuinely Finnish music for the lodge.” His talent and fame also would earn him Honorary Membership in the Grand Lodge of Finland, one of the jurisdictions of the Swedish Rite of Freemasonry, and an honor very rarely bestowed.

Rather than copy and paste the writings of others, I’ll just direct Magpie readers to several websites that offer interesting information about Sibelius:

A biographical website focuses on his Masonic life.

The evolution of Freemasonry in Finland.

The Beeb.

The Canberra Curmudgeon

As Bro. Benjamin Franklin graces America’s $100 bill,
so does Bro. Sibelius on Finland’s 100 Mark note.

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And speaking of those operative builders who labor in notes and scales, ’tis the season of Handel’s Messiah at Trinity Church! Handel’s Messiah is a Christmas tradition at Trinity dating to the famous oratorio’s New York debut in 1770, one of the first performances of Messiah in the New World.

The 2009 concerts will be performed Sunday, December 13 at 3 p.m. and Monday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Sunday concert will be broadcast live on WQXR, 105.9 FM, at 3 p.m. Monday’s concert will be webcast for live and on-demand viewing.

Messiah also will be performed at Avery Fisher Hall, December 15-18, and at Carnegie Hall, December 21 and 22.

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