Save Sibelius

Dear Avid,

My name is Lev Zhurbin, and I am a New York-based composer and performer.

Over the last decade, I have worked extensively with the cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the Kronos Quartet,  the rapper Jay-Z, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, as well as many independent musicians and filmmakers and people less well familiar.

I have been using Sibelius since version 1, and am deeply disappointed to hear that future development has been halted.  The software has been a life saver for my music, my career, and the projects I have been associated with in the past decade.

Sibelius the people associated with its progress, have been monstrously instrumental in helping me achieve miracles on the fly, such as creating beautiful orchestral scores overnight, or producing transformative changes on an orchestral arrangement, and reprinting them in the middle of rehearsal within minutes.  Sibelius’s features have improved my composition skills, and inspired many beautiful musical moments. Without a doubt, Sibelius software, and its friendly staff led by Daniel Spreadbury, has saved my life and career dozens of times, providing crucial response and support, often after midnight London time, and I am forever grateful to them.

I hate to thumb my nose at other people’s finances, but if it is in fact true that Sibelius is profitable, and that the cost of continuing development on the project is smaller than the recent increase in Mr. Greenfield’s salary, then I am not sure it is a raise I can support…  Sibelius is not only a powerful composing tool for me, but also a huge force in the music education field worldwide.  I want my children to learn Sibelius, and be inspired by the possibilities.   Without a proper notation program, our children will simply learn to write music by humming — the equivalent of writing your emails by speaking to Siri.

There will always be more profitable, hotter markets — but that does not diminish in any way the need for a professional notation program that not only provides basic notation options but also keeps up to date with supporting the latest computers and technologies. That is what Sibelius is today — just like ProTools, Sibelius is a vital source for musicians and educators.

In closing, I’d like to offer you some links to my work, notated in Sibelius:

Featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road Ensemble:

Featuring the Kronos Quartet:

Featuring Ely Guerra and Alondra de la Parra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas:

I urge you to reconsider your decisions and keep Sibelius alive.

Thank you!


Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin






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