Today, December 8th, we celebrate the day of Finnish music and the 150th birthday of Jean Sibelius (1865–1957), the most well-known Finnish composer so far. He is especially known for his orchestral music, including seven symphonies, a famous violin concerto, Finlandia and Valse Triste. In addition he wrote plenty of chamber music, solo songs, and music for different types of choirs.
Sibelius was a composer of the late Romantic and early-modern style, who wrote his masterpieces between the late 1890s and the mid-1920s. During these years he travelled a lot and had influences of mid-European composers. At the same time he was also very much inspired by Finnish nature and tradition.
Orchestras, musicians and cultural institutions all around the world have been celebrating the anniversary year of Sibelius. The events during the jubilee year have included festivals and theme concerts, the XI International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition, and an international conference for Sibelius scholars. Several new Sibelius records have been released as well as books about the composer.
Music Finland celebrates Sibelius with birthday wishes to the composer from today’s famous Finnish musicians, read them below.
"Respected Jean Sibelius,
with great gratitude I salute you on your birthday! The depth of your music, its beauty and modern timelessness have always been a constant source of inspiration to me. I wish from my heart that I can bring justice to your music in every possible way and make the audience feel its unique spirit! Sincerely, Susanna Mälkki."
Sväng Harmonica Quartet:
"Sväng wishes Janne a happy birthday and wants to thank for the opportunity to take the fine compositions into new directions while still respecting the pelimanni traditions. We’ve already taken your music to new audiences in Austria, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and next Japan."
"Congratulations Janne! You are probably better known as our country's most famous composer Jean Sibelius. The man who really put Finland in the atlas of music! Your amazing music has accompanied me throughout my life and my singing career. Thank you for your notes and harmonies, now and for all eternity! My warmest congratulations. Sincerely, Camilla."
SI-BE-LJUS yeAhn congratulations and thank you for the light and the musical horn of plenty, screaming vibrations reaching the multiverses… Calling the 112 etc… Oh PU S… Hug,… : Smile-if = Le-if…, Se-GE… : looking –…giving…, heartilythankfully!!!!
Congratulations once again on your birthday! You know what they say: you stay young when you have more dreams than memories… It’s great that you can attend your birthday drinks at Hotelli Kämppi. Welcome! Best, Topi Lehtipuu"
Eicca Toppinen, Apocalyptica:
"Warmest congratulations to the greatest Finnish composer of all times!"