Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) is perhaps Finland's most important cultural figure; his beautiful music, inspired primarily by Finnish landscapes and literature, helped to form a national identity for his homeland. Sibelius's innovative symphonies and descriptive tone poems encapsulate the composer's desire to create 'pure' music, and have become staples of the orchestral repertoire all over the world. This intriguing biography, which includes previously unavailable material, examines the life and work of this radical yet understated composer.
Guy Rickards was born in Germany and educated in England. He is a freelance writer on music, contributing frequently to magazines such as Gramophone and Tempo, as well as for periodicals such as Contemporary Music Review, BBC Music Magazine and the Guardian