Jean Sibelius (8.12.1865 – 20.09.1957) was a late Romantic and early modern Finnish composer. He is largely regarded as Finland’s best composer, and his music is frequently credited with aiding the country’s development of a national identity during its war of independence from Russia. His seven symphonies represent the center of his output, and they, together with his other significant pieces, are regularly played and recorded in Finland and many other countries. Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto, the choral symphony Kullervo, and The Swan of Tuonela (from the Lemminkäinen Suite) are among his other well-known works.
Other works by Sibelius include over a hundred songs for voice and piano, incidental music for numerous plays, the opera Jungfrun I tornet (The Maiden in the Tower), chamber music, piano music, Masonic ritual music, and 21 publications of choral music inspired by nature, Nordic mythology, and the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, over a hundred songs for voice and piano, incidental music for numerous plays, the opera Jungfrun I tornet (The Maiden in Sibelius was a prolific composer until the mid-1920s, but after finishing his Seventh Symphony (1924), the incidental music for The Tempest (1926), and the tone poem Tapiola (1926), he stopped producing major works in his last thirty years, a stunning and perplexing decline known as the “silence of Järvenpää.”
Despite the fact that he is said to have ceased writing, he attempted to continue writing, including failed attempts at an eighth symphony. Later in life, he composed Masonic music and re-edited some older works, all while maintaining an active, if not always positive, interest in contemporary musical advances. Until 2002, when the euro was adopted, his likeness appeared on the Finnish 100 mark note. Since 2011, Finland has observed a flag-flying day on the composer’s birthday, December 8, also known as “Day of Finnish Music.” A number of special concerts and events were held in 2015 to commemorate the composer’s 150th birthday, particularly in Helsinki, Finland’s capital.