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Jean Sibelius

SIBELIUS, Jean (Julius Christian). b. Hämeenlinna, Finland, 8 December 1865; d. Jārvenpāā, 20 September 1957. An able violinist as a child, he studied with Martin Wigelius in Finland before moving abroad to Vienna and Berlin for further study. His symphony Kullervo was first performed in 1892, and it was this work that gained attention in his homeland. Other works with a national flavour, such as the Karelia Suite (1893) followed, and with Finlandia (1899-1900), written for a Finnish pageant portraying the history of the nation, he became nationally famous, not least because Russia was exerting an ever tighter hold on the country politically. The 1890s may have witnessed Sibelius’s...

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