Symphonic Ellington

Tue 18/09/2018 19:00 - 21:00
Tickets: 37.00-7.00 €


Duke Ellington’s swing is brought to life as the UMO Jazz Orchestra and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra join forces once again. The programme includes the classic album Symphonic Ellington and its iconic musical description of Harlem. Antti Rissanen conducts the orchestras as they take on familiar and fresher arrangements of the music of the jazz giant.

The Symphonic Ellington


Duke Ellington is an artist whose name carries with it some remarkable weight. He topped massive expectations time and again, raising the bar for big band jazz especially as a composer and arranger. The Symphonic Ellington, first released in 1963, does not make an exception to this rule.


It had been a long time dream for Ellington to record and album using his big band with a symphony orchestra. Perhaps that why it feels that he is tackling the task at hand with all guns blazing.


Many of Duke’s top stars, such as sax men Paul Gonsalves and Johnny Hodges, plus cornet player Ray Nance feature of the album. Sam Woodyard’s work on the drums is a revelation. Just listen to Stalking Monster, the second movement of the three-part Night Creature to witness some magical interplay with Duke and Sam on piano and drums, respectively.


We hear four symphony orchestras across the six tracks: Paris, Stockholm, Hamburg and La Scala. It takes extraordinary skill and confidence to keep the extended ensemble swinging and their sound crisp and light enough. Hearing the album, still an inspiration in the present day, it is evident that Ellington was well up to the task.


Matti Nives


(text and translation)


  • Antti Rissanen


  • Helsingin kaupunginorkesteri

  • UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra


  • 19.00
    Duke Ellington


  • Duke Ellington

    Non-Violent Integration

  • Duke Ellington

    Night Creature 1st Movement "Blind Bug"

  • Duke Ellington

    Night Creature 2nd Movement "Stalking Monster"

  • Duke Ellington

    Night Creature 3rd Movement "Dazzling Creature"

  • Interval 25 min

  • Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn

    Sunset and the Mockingbird

  • Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn

    Lightning Bugs and Frogs

  • Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn

    Le Sucrier Velours

  • Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn

    Northern Lights

  • Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn

    Single Petal of a Rose

  • Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn

    Apes and Peacocks

  • Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn

    Do nothing till you hear from me (arr. Tero Lindberg)

  • Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn

    It don’t mean a thing (arr. Antti Rissanen)

  • Duke Ellington / Billy Strayhorn

    Sophisticated Lady (arr. David Berger)

  • Billy Strayhorn

    Take the A Train (arr. David Berger)

  • 21.00
    Duke Ellington / Juan Tizol

    Caravan (arr. Antti Rissanen/Tero Lindberg)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take photos of the orchestra?

Yes, but only before or after the concert. During the concert we just want you to enjoy the music. This way you won’t disturb the musicians or other audience members.

How can I order interval refreshments?

Simply call 020 762 4862, send an e-mail to​ or the Restis app. Interval refreshments for groups of 30 or more should be ordered from the sales service.

Do I have to dress up to attend a concert?

Only the orchestra has a dress code. You can dress as you like.

I have a season ticket but want to change my seat – what should I do?

If you would like to change your seat, you can purchase a new season ticket from the seats available when they go on sale. Unclaimed seats will be made available for individual concerts when the sales period for season tickets ends.

I have a season ticket but can’t make it to the concert – what should I do?

You can give the ticket to a friend or donate it to a music student by calling 09-3102 2700 or sending an e-mail to by 3pm on the day of the concert.