Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) Melancholy romantic from Finland

Jean Sibelius is best remembered for his seven symphonies, added 1899-1924. Late romantic music in a Nordic tone with midnight sun and melancholy in a strange combination.

This tough Finn is often associated with the forests and granite cliffs of Finnish nature, but he was just as much a world-famous socialite who mingled in the salons of Helsinki, Stockholm, Paris and Berlin.

As Finland’s national composer, he has a strong popular support. His production has been described in his home country as “one of classical music’s most fascinating treasures” and this may be in line with world-famous pieces such as Valse triste and Finlandia and profound, unique masterpieces such as Luonnotar and Tapiola. His violin concerto has been recorded more times than most from the 20th century, by world-famous soloists such as Jascha Heifetz, Itzhak Perlman and Anne-Sophie Mutter.

Mer om Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius’ real name was Johan, called Janne, and the surname has its origins in Sibbe farm, owned by the family for generations. That it became Jean is because Sibelius inherited a box of business cards from an uncle with this name.

Sibelius studied violin and composition in Helsinki, Berlin and Vienna, and after completing his studies, after a few years, he made the big breakthrough with Finland, which made the way for an international career. His candid diaries testify to the happiness of creative joy, but also to anguish and doubt.

He worked on an Eighth Symphony but it never saw the light of day. He had reached the end of the road. The last completed works were published in 1929, followed by “the long silence in Järvenpää” which lasted for almost 20 years.

Sibelius died in 1957, aged 92.


The playlist is loaded with Jean Sibelius’ symphonies, performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Just to sit back and enjoy!

The composers behind the most famous masterpieces

Take the opportunity to get to know some of the composers behind the most famous classical masterpieces and listen to their music. Maybe it will be the start of a lifelong friendship.

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