ABSTRACT

Although art music has been a part of Finnish culture for several centuries, Jean Sibelius is widely considered the first Finnish composer of international prominence and remains the country's most celebrated composer—arguably the most famous composer from any of the Nordic countries. Sibelius' extraordinary success in the genres of the symphony and symphonic poem are important contributions to large-scale orchestral music and have become a highly valued aspect of twentieth-century Finnish culture. 1 Finnish composers know well the impact of Sibelius upon twentieth-century Finnish music—indeed, Sibelius' compositions are widely considered to be the sine qua non exemplar of late-romantic Finnish nationalism and as such they have also been the yardstick that has measured the output of his contemporaries and successors. 2