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Not a Traditional Folk Melody

Not a Traditional Folk Melody

Jean Sibelius composed Finlandia for orchestra in 1899, and it became an overnight sensation. The piece was a political protest supporting the freedom of the Finnish press which was increasingly being controlled by the Russian Empire. Finlandia is a tone poem, an orchestral composition inspired by what the title of the piece refers to. (In Finlandia’s case, nationalism.) The piece premiered in the composer’s native Finland and was performed under various names to avoid this censorship.

Toward the end of the piece the “Finlandia Hymn” is heard, which is not a traditional folk melody most people believe it to be. In fact, the popular tune was created by the composer himself.

By 1900, Finlandia had gained an international audience and remains one of the composer’s most popular works. Sibelius even created a solo piano arrangement of the popular piece later that same year.

Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius


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Musical Insights

Free Pre-Concert Preview Series!

Friday, November 8 at 1:30 pm

Enhance your concert experience with a sneak preview — Composers come alive and their passions take center stage when ESO General Manager David Ellis and ESO Maestro Lawrence Eckerling take you on an insider’s tour of the history and highlights behind the music.

Meet our soloist, Mindy Kaufman, at Musical Insights. She and our Maestro Lawrence Eckerling and David Ellis will explore the November concert program in depth.

The Merion
Friday, November 8 at 1:30 pm,
The Merion Crystal Ballroom at
1611 Chicago Avenue at Davis Street, Evanston.
FREE and open to the public.
Please RSVP to 847-562-5318.

Light refreshments will be served and casual tours of newly renovated apartments will be available after the program.