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: Violin Concerto / Jennifer Pike, Andrew Davis, Bergen Philharmonic
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5134   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Scènes Historiques, Etc / Gibson, Scottish Natl
Release Date: 08/11/1993   Label: Chandos Collect  
Catalog: 6591   Number of Discs: 1
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Franck: Psyché;  Sibelius: Symphony No 2 / Ahronovitch, Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
Release Date: 10/28/2008   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 8040   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Lemminkäinen Legends, Etc / Gibson, Scottish Natl
Release Date: 12/08/1993   Label: Chandos Collect  
Catalog: 6586   Number of Discs: 1
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Nielsen: Symphony No 5, Etc;  Sibelius / Alexander Gibson
Release Date: 10/28/1992   Label: Chandos Collect  
Catalog: 6533   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Finlandia, Op. 26

Browse 51-75 of 183 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Sibelius: Symphonies 1, 2, 3 & 5 / Mariss Jansons, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97180 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Classical Prep School - Essential Music
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80749 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  John O'Conor,  James Van Demark,  Rudolf Serkin,  Michael Chertock  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Bishop,  Yoel Levi,  Erich Kunzel,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 53.
    The Sound Of Scandinavia / Marriner, Brown, Dorati, Barbirolli, Berglund, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68161 Release Date: 05/19/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Niels Gade,  Franz Berwald,  Armas Järnefelt,  Carl Nielsen  ... 
    Performer:  Marian Migdal,  Barbara Hendricks,  Roland Pöntinen,  Solveig Kringelborn  ... 
    Conductor:  Johan Hye-Knudsen,  Ulf Björlin,  Paavo Berglund,  Stig Westerberg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Danish Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 54.
    Everybody's  Sibelius / Yoel Levi, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80760 Release Date: 04/28/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Yoel Levi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 2, Swan Of Tuonela, Finlandia (with chorus) / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38056 Release Date: 03/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra Chorus
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  • 56.
    National Treasures - Finland, A Collection Of Classical Favourites
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 940 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Väinö Raitio,  Armas Järnefelt,  Erkki Melartin,  Heino Kaski  ... 
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Leif Segerstam,  Tuomas Ollila,  Max Pommer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra,  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 57.
    Scandinavian Rhapsody - Sibelius, Grieg, Et Al / Segerstam
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 824 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Jean Sibelius,  Armas Järnefelt,  Oskar Merikanto  ... 
    Performer:  Veikko Höylä,  Erkki Palola
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Classical Evergreens
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 182802 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Pablo de Sarasate,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Claude Debussy,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Ion Voicu,  Karl Suske,  Walter Olbertz,  Jürnjakob Timm  ... 
    Conductor:  Heinz Bongartz,  Robert Hanell,  Otmar Suitner,  Heinz Rögner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Deutschland Sender Orchestra Berlin,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
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  • 59.
    Gemini - Sibelius: Kullervo, Tapiola, Finlandia, Karelia, Etc / Berglund, Bournemouth So
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17674 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Usko Viitanen,  Raili Kostia,  Ida Haendel
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Helsinki University Chorus
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  • 60.
    Fiedler Encores / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448952 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Edvard Grieg,  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 61.
    Classics In Heaven - Mozart, Bach, Etc
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184582 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Ion Voicu,  Karl Suske,  Walter Olbertz,  Jürnjakob Timm  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Hanell,  Otmar Suitner,  Gerhart Wiesenhütter,  Günther Herbig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 62.
    Sibelius: Finlandia,   Pelléas And Mélisande, Symphonies Nos 1 & 7 / Stokowski
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2341 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Symphony Orchestra,  Helsinki City Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Neeme Järvi: 70th Birthday Jubilee
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4443 Release Date: 07/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Heino Eller,  Jean Sibelius,  Veljo Tormis  ... 
    Performer:  Maarika Järvi
    Conductor:  Kristjan Järvi,  Paavo Järvi,  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Male Choir,  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Sibelius: Finlandi; En Saga; Valse Triste; Tapiola; The Swan Of Tuonela
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 786626 Release Date: 07/01/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 65.
    Sibelius Edition Vol 4 - Piano Music
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1909/11 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Folke Gräsbeck,  Lasse Pöysti
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  • 66.
    Masters Of Classical Music Vol 6 / Vassil Kazandjeiv, Sofia So
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 248 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Johann Pachelbel,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Conductor:  Vassil Kazandjiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5, Finlandio / Salonen
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66234 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Herbert Von Karajan 2008 - The Great Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 16091 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Ulrich Koch,  Sviatoslav Richter,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 69.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 70.
    Sibelius: Original Works And Arrangements For Cello And Piano
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570797 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jussi Makkonen,  Rait Karm
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  • 71.
    Sibelius: Symphonic Poems / Sanderling, Berlin Symphony
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 4915 Release Date: 02/19/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund,  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Bernstein Favorites- Orchestral Showpieces
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46706 Release Date: 02/06/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Paul Dukas,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 73.
    Sibelius: Tone Poems, Symphonies / Sargent, Hannikainen
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 69134 Release Date: 02/06/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Tauno Hannikainen,  Sir Malcolm Sargent
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia of London,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Flor, Berlin Sym
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 60119 Release Date: 01/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Jean Sibelius,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Grieg: Holberg Suite, Sibelius: Finlandia, Etc / Boskovsky
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 411933 Release Date: 01/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky,  Walter Weller,  Kazimierz Kord,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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