Jean Sibelius

Biography

Born: Dec 8, 1865; Finland   Died: Sep 20, 1957; Finland   Period: 20th Century
Finland's Jean Sibelius is perhaps the most important composer associated with nationalism in music and one of the most influential in the development of the symphony and symphonic poem. Sibelius was born in southern Finland, the second of three children. His physician father left the family bankrupt, owing to his financial extravagance, a trait that, along with heavy drinking, he would pass on to Jean. Jean showed talent on the violin and at age Read more nine composed his first work for it, Rain Drops. In 1885 Sibelius entered the University of Helsinki to study law, but after only a year found himself drawn back to music. He took up composition studies with Martin Wegelius and violin with Mitrofan Wasiliev, then Hermann Csillag. During this time he also became a close friend of Busoni. Though Sibelius auditioned for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, he would come to realize he was not suited to a career as a violinist.
In 1889 Sibelius traveled to Berlin to study counterpoint with Albert Becker, where he also was exposed to new music, particularly that of Richard Strauss. In Vienna he studied with Karl Goldmark and then Robert Fuchs, the latter said to be his most effective teacher. Now Sibelius began pondering the composition of the Kullervo Symphony, based on the Kalevala legends. Sibelius returned to Finland, taught music, and in June 1892, married Aino Järnefelt, daughter of General Alexander Järnefelt, head of one of the most influential families in Finland. The premiere of Kullervo in April 1893 created a veritable sensation, Sibelius thereafter being looked upon as the foremost Finnish composer. The Lemminkäinen suite, begun in 1895 and premiered on April 13, 1896, has come to be regarded as the most important music by Sibelius up to that time.
In 1897 the Finnish Senate voted to pay Sibelius a short-term pension, which some years later became a lifetime conferral. The honor was in lieu of his loss of an important professorship in composition at the music school, the position going to Robert Kajanus. The year 1899 saw the premiere of Sibelius' First Symphony, which was a tremendous success, to be sure, but not quite of the magnitude of that of Finlandia (1899; rev. 1900).
In the next decade Sibelius would become an international figure in the concert world. Kajanus introduced several of the composer's works abroad; Sibelius himself was invited to Heidelberg and Berlin to conduct his music. In March 1901, the Second Symphony was received as a statement of independence for Finland, although Sibelius always discouraged attaching programmatic ideas to his music. His only concerto, for violin, came in 1903. The next year Sibelius built a villa outside of Helsinki, named "Ainola" after his wife, where he would live for his remaining 53 years. After a 1908 operation to remove a throat tumor, Sibelius was implored to abstain from alcohol and tobacco, a sanction he followed until 1915. It is generally believed that the darkening of mood in his music during these years owes something to the health crisis.
Sibelius made frequent trips to England, having visited first in 1905 at the urging of Granville Bantock. In 1914 he traveled to Norfolk, CT, where he conducted his newest work The Oceanides. Sibelius spent the war years in Finland working on his Fifth Symphony. Sibelius traveled to England for the last time in 1921. Three years later he completed his Seventh Symphony, and his last work was the incidental music for The Tempest (1925). For his last 30 years Sibelius lived a mostly quiet life, working only on revisions and being generally regarded as the greatest living composer of symphonies. In 1955 his 90th birthday was widely celebrated throughout the world with many performances of his music. Sibelius died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1957. Read less
Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 3, 6 & 7 / Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2006   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Finlandia, Op. 26

Browse 26-50 of 150 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    The Great Recordings / Malcolm Sargent [18-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634121 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Lewis,  John [baritone (50s)] Cameron,  James Milligan,  Duncan Robertson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Huddersfield Choral Society,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $64.49
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  • 27.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto / Pike, Davis, Bergen
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5134 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jennifer Pike
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 28.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Orchestral Works / Barbirolli, Halle
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 8470624 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Tone Poems / Sanderling, Sinaisky
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9439 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Maria Jogeva
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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    CD: $34.99
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  • 30.
    Colin Davis: The Philips Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001850302 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Claudio Arrau,  Jessye Norman,  Jon Vickers  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $65.99
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  • 31.
    Carl Conducts... Classical Festival Favourites
    Label: Carl Davis Collect   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jean Sibelius,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
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  • 32.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
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  • 33.
    Icon - Constantin Silvestri [15-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 233472 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  George Enescu,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 34.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5, Etc / Schmidt, Mackerras, Royal Po
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1216 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Ole Schmidt,  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Monumental Karajan!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 232892 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Karlheinz Zöller
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $12.99
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  • 36.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies / Berglund, Bournemouth SO
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 736002 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Finlandia, Etc / Zehetmair , Masur, Leipzig Gewandhaus
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 59356 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    CD: $8.99
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  • 38.
    Sibelius: Symphony No. 2; Finlandia; Valse Triste
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001702202 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Okko Kamu
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  • 39.
    Grieg & Sibelius Favorites / Mackerras
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1191 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Geoffrey Browne
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Tone Poems / Colin Davis, Boston Symphony Orchestra [5-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001677102 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Karajan In Italy Vol 3
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 712 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
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  • 42.
    Sibelius Symphonies 1-7, Finlandia, Karelia Suite / Oramo
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 662795 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Journey Around The World
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55476 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mexican Anonymous,  Arthur Benjamin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Gabriela Montero,  Larry Adler,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Truls Otterbech Mork  ... 
    Conductor:  Eric Robinson,  André Cluytens,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
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  • 44.
    The Nordic Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4671621 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Christian Sinding,  Jean Sibelius,  Erkki Melartin  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Izumi Tateno,  Jon Wien Sonstebo,  Harald Aadland  ... 
    Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen,  Sakari Oramo,  Shuntaro Sato,  Pertti Pekkanen  ... 
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  • 45.
    50 Greatest Pieces Of Classical Music / London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Pieter Schoeman,  Finghin Collins,  Craig Ogden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 46.
    Eight Historic Pipe Organs Of The Copper Country / Christina Harmon
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 928 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jean Sibelius,  Samuel Long,  Clarence Eddy  ... 
    Performer:  Christina Harmon
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  • 47.
    Sibelius: Symphonies No 6 & 7, Finlandia / Inkinen, New Zealand Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572705 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Pietari Inkinen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 2, Karelia Suite, Finlandia / Mackerras
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28920 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonic Poems / Sinaisky, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9212 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Maria Jogeva
    Conductor:  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 50.
    Finlandia - Sibelius, Grieg, Alfven: Orchestral Works / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 68975 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius,  Hugo Alfvén
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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