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Leevi Antti Madetoja (Composer)

Born: 17th February 1887, Oulu, Finland

Died: 6th October 1947, Helsinki, Finland

Nationality: Finnish

Leevi Antti Madetoja was a Finnish composer, music critic, conductor, and teacher of the late-Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as one of the most significant Finnish contemporaries of Jean Sibelius, under whom he studied privately from 1908–10.

The core of Madetoja's oeuvre consists of a set of three symphonies (1916, 1918, and 1926), arguably the finest early-twentieth century additions to the symphonic canon of any Finnish composer, Sibelius excepted. As central to Madetoja's legacy is Pohjalaisia (The Ostrobothnians, 1923), proclaimed Finland's "national opera" following its successful 1924 premiere and, even today, a stalwart of the country's repertoire. Other notable works include an Elegia for strings (1909); Kuoleman puutarha (The Garden of Death, 1918–21), a three-movement suite for solo piano; the Japanisme ballet-pantomime, Okon Fuoko (1927); and, a second opera, Juha (1935).

Further Reading: Madetoja

Recording of the Week, Rumon Gamba conducts overtures from Finland

The Oulu Symphony Orchestra and their chief conductor offer a treasure trove of rarely-recorded orchestral gems by Finnish composers contemporary with Sibelius.

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