Jean Sibelius

Fun Facts

  • Sibelius was Finland's greatest composer.

  • After his father's death when he was two, Sibelius' uncle became a father-figure in his life who encouraged his nephew's musical gifts and even gave him his first violin.

  • From the age of fifteen, Sibelius aspired to become a violin virtuoso, practicing for hours every day.  Eventually realizing that he had started too late, he would turn to composing instead.

  • Sibelius and his wife, Aino, had six daughters.

  • Sibelius retired from composing and didn't write any major works for the last three decades of his life.

  • After a successful operation for throat cancer, Sibelius would live fifty more years.

  • Sibelius died from a brain hemorrhage at the age of ninety-one.

  • Though he was a skilled violinist, Sibelius' own Violin Concerto was too difficult for him to play.

  • The famous tune Finlandia was originally composed by Sibelius as a patriotic outcry against Russian censorship.

  • Thanks to an annual grant from Finland's government, Sibelius was able to concentrate on composition without financial worries.

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Fun Facts

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