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Jean Sibelius (1865-1957).

  • Profession: Pianist, violinist, pedagogue and composer.
  • Residences: Finland.
  • Relation to Mahler:
  • Correspondence with Mahler:
  • Born: 08-12-1865 Hämeenlinna, Finland.
  • Died: 20-09-1957 Järvenpää near Helsinki, Finland. Aged 91.
  • Buried: 29-09-1957 Järvenpää near Helsinki, Finland.

Jean Sibelius, born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius, was a Finnish composer of the late Romantic period. His music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. The core of Sibelius' oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies. Like Beethoven, Sibelius used each successive work to further develop his own personal compositional style. His works continue to be performed frequently in the concert hall and are often recorded.

In addition to the symphonies, Sibelius' best-known compositions include Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto in D minor, Kullervo, and The Swan of Tuonela (one of the four movements of the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala; over 100 songs for voice and piano; incidental music for 13 plays; the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower); chamber music; piano music; Masonic ritual music and 21 separate publications of choral music.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957).

Sibelius composed prolifically until the mid-1920s. However, after completing his Seventh Symphony (1924), the incidental music to The Tempest (1926), and the tone poem Tapiola (1926), he produced no large scale works for the remaining thirty years of his life. Although he is reputed to have stopped composing, he in fact attempted to continue writing, including abortive efforts to compose an eighth symphony. He wrote some Masonic music and re-edited some earlier works during this last period of his life, and retained an active interest in new developments in music, although he did not always view modern music favorably.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) monument, Helsinki, Finland.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) monument, Helsinki, Finland.