The Info List - Robert Kajanus

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, 2 December 1856 – Helsinki, July 6 1933) was a Finnish conductor, composer and teacher. In 1882, he founded the Helsinki
Orchestral Society , Finland's first professional orchestra. As a conductor, he was also a notable champion and interpreter of the music of Jean Sibelius .


* 1 Life * 2 Family * 3 Selected works * 4 Kajanus and Sibelius * 5 References * 6 External links


Kajanus studied music theory with Richard Faltin and violin with Gustaf Niemann in Helsinki
, with Hans Richter , Carl Reinecke
Carl Reinecke
and Salomon Jadassohn in Leipzig
, and Johan Svendsen
Johan Svendsen
in Paris
. His music drew on the folk legends of the Finnish people.

He worked in Dresden
in the years immediately after his graduation, and returned to Helsinki
in 1882. He founded the first permanent orchestra in Finland: the Helsinki
Orchestral Society (later to become the Helsinki
Philharmonic Orchestra , Finland's national orchestra). He brought the orchestra to a very high performance standard very quickly, so that they were able to give quite credible performances of the standard late classical/mid-romantic repertory. Kajanus led the Helsinki
Philharmonic for 50 years, and among the milestones of that history was the first performance in Finland
of Beethoven 's Symphony No. 9 in 1888.

Kajanus was appointed director of music at the University of Helsinki in 1897 and remained in the post for the next 29 years, a period in which he had a major impact on music education in his native country. He was also the founder of the Nordic Music Festival in 1919. He received many decorations, including the French Légion d\'honneur .


Kajanus's parents were Georg August Cajanus (1812-1888) and Agnes Ottilia Flodin (1824-1902). Robert Kajanus
Robert Kajanus
was the father of the harpists Lilly Kajanus-Blenner (1885-1963) and Aino Kajanus-Mangström (1888-1951) and the violinist Kaj Kajanus (1908-1994); the grandfather of Johanna Kajanus , an award-winning Finnish/Norwegian sculptor; and great-grandfather of pop musician and composer Georg Kajanus , who was famous for a while in Great Britain with his band Sailor which enjoyed chart success in the mid-1970s.


Kajanus composed over 200 works, of which Aino and the Finnish Rhapsodies are enduringly popular. He also orchestrated the Finnish national anthem , Maamme
(Our Country) and Christian Fredric Kress 's Porilaisten marssi (March of the People of Pori), the honor march of the Suomen puolustusvoimat ( Finnish Defense Forces ) and thus, effectively, the Finnish presidential march.

* Adagietto * Aino, symphonic poem for male chorus and orchestra (1885) * Suomalainen rapsodia (Finnish rhapsody) No. 1 in D minor, Op. 5 (1881) * Suomalainen rapsodia (Finnish rhapsody) No. 2 in F major (1886) * Huutolaistytön kehtolaulu (The Pauper Girl's Lament) * Kullervon surumarssi (Kullervo's Funeral March), Op. 3 (1880); contains the folk tune "Velisurmaaja" ("The brother-slayer") * Lyrische Stücke (1879) * Overtura sinfonica for orchestra (1926) * Piano Sonata (1876) * Sechs Albumblätter (1877) * Sotamarssi (War March), with lyrics by A. Oksanen - arr. by Arvo Kuikka as an honor march of the Suomen ilmavoimat ( Finnish Air Force
Finnish Air Force

* Sinfonietta in B flat major for strings, Op. 16 (1915) * Suite ancienne for strings (1931) * Violin Sonata (1876)


Kajanus had a decisive impact upon the development of the career of Jean Sibelius . He was considered an authority on the interpretation of Sibelius's music, and he and Sibelius were close friends; but this was compromised in 1898 when Sibelius was appointed to a university post for which Kajanus was himself a candidate. Kajanus appealed, and the decision was overturned. But they reconciled for the orchestra's tour of Europe in 1900, where they appeared at the Exposition Universelle at the invitation of the French government. Kullervo