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Toivo Kuula

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Toivo Timoteus Kuula (7 July 1883 - 18 May 1918) was a Finnish conductor and composer. He was born in the city of Vaasa (in those days Nikolainkaupunki), when Finland still was a Grand Duchy under Russian rule. He is known as a colorful and passionate portrayer of Finnish nature and people. A Swedish critic once said that Kuula’s music reaches parts of the human spirit where one is forced to deep examination of one’s self. Toivo Kuula died in the provincial hospital in Viipuri in 1918 after being mortally wounded 18 days earlier on Walpurgis Night by a bullet fired by a Jäger. The bullet was fired as a result of a quarrel that happened in front of Hotel Seurahuone in conjunction with the first victory celebration of the white victory in the Civil War of Finland. Kuula is buried in Hietaniemi cemetery, Helsinki.

Kuula is best-remembered for his large output of melodic choir and vocal works. His instrumental works include two Ostrobothnian Suites for Orchestra, Violin Sonata, Piano Trio and an unfinished Symphony.

His major work is considered beautiful Stabat Mater which, just like Mozart’s Requiem, was remained unfinished at the time of his death.

Kuula also wrote a few dozen highly artistic piano works.

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