Fun fact: the original song was, 'There goes Johan Julius Christian Sibelius! Da-da da-da da-da-da!'
The above 'fun fact' was totally a lie. I'm sorry I misled you. I'll do better.
French variation of 'Johan'
According to Karl Ekman, he was 'inspired by the business card of his seafaring uncle.'
Finland! Finland! Finland! That's the country for me!
His father spoke it.
Year born (+/- 3 years)
The same year Tristan und Isolde premiers in Munich. Also born that year: August de Boeck, Carl Nielsen, and Paul Dukas.
Date born (December)
Bohuslav Martinů shares his birthday (25 years later).
Denomination of bill featuring his image (discontinued)
Something like $20 (US), before it was replaced by the euro.
Holiday celebrated on his birthday
Musical period in which he is classified
Actually, I think he flawlessly bridges the gap between Romantic and 20th Century, but what do I know?
Y'know, the closest bassoonists get to having a major composer among the ranks was that time Hindemith learned to play bassoon for his sonata. Sheesh.
Studied this before music
Sometimes, I wish I'd studied law instead of music. Ironic.
Wrote ritual music for this organization
He held the organist position at his lodge, and was one of its founding members.
They were married 65 years!
Name for his home on Lake Tuusula
For his wife, obviously.
Number of children
All girls, the poor man: Eva, Ruth, Kirsti, Katarina, Margareta, and Harpo...I mean, Heidi.
Number of Symphonies
One for every female in his life?
Boston Symphony conductor (and bassist) who commissioned his unfinished final symphony
Koussevitzky wrote him letters imploring him to send the 8th symphony, but Sibelius would routinely delay him, even lying that it was finished. Some fragments were published and played in 2011, but it's only just enough to wonder what could have been...
Most famous tone poem
To avoid Russian censorship, Finns often changed the name of the piece to disguise it, the most hilarious example being 'Happy Feelings at the awakening of Finnish Spring.'
Number of Concerti
Ah, you're a smart one, you are.
Instrument for which he wrote the most concerti
Hilary Hahn's recording is the best. Crystaline, keen, calculating...most importantly, evocative of the Scandinavian landscape and wintertime. Plus, that huge shift in the third movement? Flawless. End of discussion.
Last major work (tone poem)
Completed in 1926, he lived several decades more, struggling with alcohol and emerging victorious, albeit ever laconic.
Year died (+/- 3 years)
Another well-known Finnish composer, Heino Kaski, died that same day.