Jean Sibelius is regarded as the Finnish national composer, a reputation he largely acquired through his symphonic poem Finlandia. During the period of Russian domination, this work advanced to become a kind of unofficial Finnish national anthem and made its creator a national identification figure. The same popularity was accorded only to the second of his seven symphonies. Here, too, the Finnish countryside served as a source of inspiration for the wide-spanning, atmospherically rich melodies. When, starting with his Third Symphony, he revised his style from late romantic passion to a greater objectivity and economy of expression focused more on neo-classicism, his audience found it difficult to understand. Perhaps this discrepancy from the expectations of his listeners, as well as his awareness of his position as an outsider in an era when the "modern music? of people like Schönberg, Berg and Webern emerged, is why he wrote no further works after 1926. For his contributions to Finnish national style, Sibelius, as the foremost composer of his country, received an honorary pension for life from the Finnish nation.
born on December 8, 1865 in Hämeenlinna (Tavastehus)