Johan Julius Christian Sibelius (known as Jean Sibelius; family nickname Janne) ( pronunciation (help·info)) (8 December 1865–20 September 1957) was a Finnish composer of the later Romantic period whose music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity.
The core of Sibelius' oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies. Like Beethoven, Sibelius used each one to develop further his own personal compositional style. These works continue to be performed frequently in the concert hall and are often recorded.
In addition to the symphonies, Sibelius' best-known compositions include Finlandia, Valse Triste, the violin concerto, the Karelia Suite and The Swan of Tuonela (one of the four movements of the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by the Kalevala, over 100 songs for voice and piano, incidental music for 13 plays, the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower), chamber music, piano music, 21 separate publications of choral music, and Masonic ritual music. Sibelius composed prolifically until the mid-1920s. However, soon after completing his Seventh Symphony (1924), the incidental music to The Tempest (1926), and the tone poem Tapiola (1926), he produced no large scale works for the remaining thirty years of his life. Although he is reputed to have stopped composing, he did attempt to continue writing, including abortive attempts to compose an eighth symphony. He wrote some Masonic music and re-edited some earlier works during this last period of his life, and retained an active interest in new developments in music, although he did not always view modern music favorably.