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Uuno Klami

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(1900 – 1961)

Uuno Klami (20 September 1900 – 29 May 1961) was a Finnish composer. He was born in Virolahti. Many of his works are related to the Kalevala. He was also influenced by French music, in particularly by Maurice Ravel and the group Les Six. Klami is probably the only composer who has participated in five armed conflicts (2 wars in Karelia, the Finnish Civil War, the Winter War of 1939-40 and the Continunation War of 1941-44).

Klami studied music in Helsinki with Melartin and later in Paris and Vienna. His main works include the Kalevala Suite and the unfinished ballet Whirls. The oratorio Psalmus (1936) has a unique place in Finnish sacred music and is one of the greatest works by a Finn not named Sibelius. Klami also experimented with the symphonic form in his two Symphonies (1938 and 1945) and Symphonie enfantine (1927), and the concerto form in his two Piano Concertos (No. 1 Une nuit à Montmartre and No.2 for Piano and Strings) and the Violin Concerto (1943). Being a master of miniature orchestral works, the orchestral suite Sea Pictures should also be regarded as one of his greatest achievements. With the recommendation of Sibelius he was granted a small lifetime income from the government. In 1959 he was made a member of the Finnish Academy (one of Finland’s highest honors).

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