Sibelius and the Birth of Finland

Until 1809 part of Sweden, then part of the Russian Empire, Finland’s birth as a nation in 1917 owes everything to the artists, writers and musicians who helped forge its cultural identity.  Sibelius bravely and unfashionably decided to embrace native themes in his music while still a student in Vienna. ‘Finlandia’ and ‘Symphony No.2’  were immediately championed as symbols of Finnish nationalism.

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