(1865 - 1957).  Sibelius studied composition in Berlin and Vienna, though it was his innovative use of Finland's folk idiom which brought him success and made him the musical champion of his country's emergence from Russian domination.

Many of his tone poems are inspired by Finnish mythological subjects, including "Swan of Tuonela", "Pohjola's Daughter", and "Lemminkainen's Return".  His rousing "Finlandia" is among his most popular shorter works, as is the melancoly "Valse triste".

His Symphonies advanced the tradition of Beethoven and Brahms, though within a more austere 20th century vocabulary.  His most enduring Symphonies are no 2, 5, and 7.  Though rumors of an 8th Symphony persisted, it has not survivied.  He appears to have composed little or no music during the final 25 years of his life.

His Violin Concerto (1905) remains a favorite of soloists and audiences.
This biography was most recently edited by...
steven - 9 Feb 2010
steven - 24 Sep 2009