Toivo Kuula

Biography

Born: July 7, 1883; Alavus, Vaasa   Died: May 18, 1918; Viipuri, Russia  
Finnish composer Toivo Kuula was born in Alavus, Vaasa, Finland, on July 7, 1883. He showed talent early on but did not begin serious studies until 1900, when he enrolled at the Helsinki Music Institute. There he studied under Martin Wegelius but, owing to scarce finances, had to withdraw for three years. After his 1906 return, he began attracting attention with some of his early works, notably the song I gazed long into the fire and the Sonata Read more for Violin and Piano, both from 1907.

1908 was a pivotal year in the formation of Kuula's style and the rounding of his compositional skills: Jean Sibelius took him on as his first composition student. Sibelius' brother-in-law, Armas Järnefelt, was an early supporter of Kuula) and Kuula traveled abroad to study in Bologna with Marco Enrico Bossi. Further studies came in the succeeding years in Leipzig and Paris, as Kuula began turning out important works, such as The Song of the Seal, for chorus and orchestra (1909), and The Bath Maids, for soprano and orchestra (1910).

Beginning in 1910 Kuula served as conductor of the orchestra in Oulu for two seasons, then moved on to other conducting posts, first for the Helsinki Town Orchestra (1912-1916), then for the Native Orchestra, in Viipuri, 1916-1918. 1914 was another pivotal year in the composer's life: Kuula met and later married soprano Alma Silventoinen, who was the inspiration behind most of his 24 solo songs, and he also began work on his magnum opus, the Stabat Mater, for mixed chorus and orchestra.

The circumstances surrounding Kuula's death were tragic: in an apparently meaningless street fight in the wake of Finnish Civil War - meaningless, because Finland had just won it's independence - the composer was shot and killed by an inebriated soldier. The Stabat Mater was left incomplete at his death, but composer and friend Leevi Madetoja finished it. In the area of choral music and song, Kuula displayed extraordinary talent and must be regarded as one of the leading Finnish composers of his time. Read less
Browse 1-22 of 22 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Kuula: South Ostrobothnian Suites I & II / Segerstam, Turku Philharmonic
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1270 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toivo Kuula
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Airs Chantes / Marjukka Tepponen, Ilmar Rakkonen
    Label: Louhi Productions   Catalog: 12002 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Toivo Kuula,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Marjukka Tepponen,  Ilmari Raikkonen
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  • 3.
    Label: Alba Records   Catalog: 47 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Juhani Komulainen,  Francis Poulenc,  Gustav Mahler,  Toivo Kuula  ... 
    Performer:  Olga [Soprano Vocal] Kuridda
    Conductor:  Dani Juris
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  • 4.
    Label: Alba Records   Catalog: 309 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Oskar Merikanto,  Toivo Kuula,  Erkki Melartin,  S. Snare  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Lehtola
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  • 5.
    Nordic Folksongs & Ballads
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 686 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Matti Borg,  Norwegian Traditional,  Sigvaldi S. Kaldalons  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nordic Trio
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  • 6.
    Cantus Sollemnis
    Label: Pilfink Records   Catalog: 51 Release Date: 04/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hildegard of Bingen,  Anonymous,  Luigi Cherubini,  Giuseppe Sarti  ... 
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  • 7.
    Great Singers And Musicians In Copenhagen, 1931-1939
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 691/96 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anny Konetzni,  Lauritz Melchior,  Zedenka Zikova,  Viorica Tango  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Weisbach,  Nicolai Malko,  Bruno Walter,  Egisto Tango  ... 
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  • 8.
    Songs From The North
    Label: Phaedra   Catalog: 292004 Release Date: 09/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emil Sjögren,  Jean Sibelius,  Edvard Grieg,  Toivo Kuula  ... 
    Performer:  Hillevi Martinpelto,  Matti Hirvonen
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  • 9.
    A Finnish Songbook / Salminen
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1135 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Toivo Kuula,  Vilho Luolajan-Mikkola,  Martti Johannes Turunen  ... 
    Performer:  Matti Salminen
    Conductor:  John Storgårds
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Finnish Sacred Songs
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 902 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikael Nyberg,  Oskar Merikanto,  Toivo Kuula,  Elma Finne  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Choir
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  • 11.
    Usko, Toivo Ja Rakkaus / Hynninen, Ruuttunen, Tiilikainen
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 925 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toivo Kuula,  Ahti Sonninen,  Taneli Kuusisto,  Kari Tikka  ... 
    Performer:  Jorma Hynninen,  Sauli Tiilikainen,  Kari Jerkku,  Laura Ainali  ... 
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  • 12.
    Kuula: Tule, Armaani, Etc / Hakala, Attila
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1087 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toivo Kuula
    Performer:  Tommi Hakala,  Kristian Attila
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  • 13.
    Camilla Nylund Sings Sibelius, Debussy, Britten & Kuula
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94050 Release Date: 11/15/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Toivo Kuula,  Claude Debussy,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Camilla Nylund,  Marita Viitasalo
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  • 14.
    Excellence - The Artistry Of Karita Mattila
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1054 Release Date: 09/21/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frederick Loewe,  Leonard Bernstein,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Ilmo Ranta
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  • 15.
    Diamonds - Poulenc, Milhaud, Börtz, Et Al / Orphei Dränger
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1233 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Darius Milhaud,  Daniel Börtz,  Veljo Tormis  ... 
    Performer:  Gunnar Sundberg,  Greger Erdös,  Folke Alin
    Conductor:  Robert Sund,  Folke Alin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orphei Drängar
    CD: $21.49
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  • 16.
    Finnish Orchestral Favorites / Panula, Turku Po
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555773 Release Date: 05/15/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ilkka Kuusisto,  Uuno Klami,  Erkki Melartin,  Toivo Kuula  ... 
    Performer:  Reino Kotaviita,  Maarit Kirvessalo
    Conductor:  Jorma Panula,  Okko Kamu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra,  Finnish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 17.
    A Tribute To Martti Talvela
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 945 Release Date: 11/16/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Yrjö Kilpinen,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Joonas Kokkonen  ... 
    Performer:  Eero Heinonen,  Martti Talvela,  Hertha Klust
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam,  Okko Kamu,  Jussi Jalas,  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 18.
    From The Heart Of Finland / Karita Mattila
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 892 Release Date: 01/21/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toivo Kuula
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Ilmo Ranta
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  • 19.
    Sounds Of Finland / Pohjola, Tapiola Children's Choir
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 94 Release Date: 11/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  P.J. Hannikainen,  Mooses Putro,  Jukka Koskinen  ... 
    Performer:  Olli Pohjola,  Jaana Ikonen,  Matti Pohjola,  Elina Eirola  ... 
    Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
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  • 20.
    Romantic Finnish Piano Music / Heinonen
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 198 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oskar Merikanto,  Toivo Kuula
    Performer:  Eero Heinonen
    CD: $21.49
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  • 21.
    Finnish Chamber Music / Pohjola Trio
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 56 Release Date: 03/25/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leif Segerstam,  Usko Meriläinen,  Aarre Merikanto,  Toivo Kuula
    Performer:  Paavo Pohjola,  Liisa Pohjola,  Ensti Pohjola
    CD: $21.49
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  • 22.
    Label: Swedish Society Discofil   Catalog: 1049 Release Date: 10/01/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ture Rangström,  Gunnar de Frumerie,  Wilhelm Stenhammar  ... 
    Performer:  Solveig Faringer,  Nanette Nowels-Stenholm
    CD: $18.99
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