Eugène Ysaÿe as soloist with the orchestra
A major highlight in the orchestra’s early years was the appearance by the great 24-year-old Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe as the soloist in a symphony concert on 8th February 1883. Ysaÿe played Violin Concerto No. 2 by Wieniawski – he had himself been a pupil of Wieniawski’s – together with a Romance by Svendsen and two encores. Also on the programme were Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Brahms’s Tragic Overture. The concert was held at the University Hall and, this being a big event, packed to the roof. Ysaÿe returned to Finland in 1885 to perform as the Orchestra Association’s soloist.
Sources: Einari Marvia & Matti Vainio – Helsingin kaupunginorkesteri 1882–1982 & Seija Lappalainen – Tänä iltana Yliopiston juhlasalissa