Kajanus, Robert, outstanding Finnish conductor; b. Helsinki, Dec. 2, 1856; d. there, July 6, 1933. He studied with R. Faltin and G. Niemann at the Helsinki Cons., and later at the Leipzig Cons. with Reinecke, Richter, and Jadassohn (1877-79); then went to Paris, where he studied with Svendsen (1879-80). After returning to Helsinki in 1882, he founded an orch. society that sponsored concerts by the newly organized Helsinki Phil., which he led until his death; from 1897 to 1926 he was music director at the Univ. of Helsinki. He was an early champion of the music of Sibelius, and made the first recordings of the 1st and 2nd syms. with the London Sym. Orch. He composed the symphonic poems Kullervo (1881) and Aino (1885), 2 Finnish rhapsodies (1882, 1889), an orch. suite, Sommarminnen (Summer Memories; 1896), piano pieces, and songs.
Y. Suomalainen, R. K.: Hänen elämänsä ja toimintansa (R. K.: His Life and Work; Helsinki, 1952).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire