Willy Burmester takes over as leader of the orchestra


Kajanus met the talented violinist Willy Burmester (1869–1933) during a visit to St. Petersburg and instantly invited him to join his Helsinki orchestra. Burmester was German and had studied with Joseph Joachim. In Willy, the Finnish orchestra acquired an excellent leader and in time an active soloist. He had intended to premiere Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, but in the end his other commitments prevented him from honouring his promise. Burmester attended sessions of the Symposium together with Sibelius and Kajanus.

Willy Burmester married Naëma Fazer, sister of captain-of-industry Karl Fazer, sugar manufacturer Max Fazer, music-shop founder Konrad Fazer and pianist-opera director Edvard Fazer. The Burmesters left Finland in 1895.

Sources: Seija Lappalainen – Tänä iltana Yliopiston juhlasalissa & Sibelius.fi