Klami, Uuno (Kalervo)

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Klami, Uuno (Kalervo)

Klami, Uuno (Kalervo), Finnish composer and music critic; b. Virolahti, Sept. 20, 1900; d. Helsinki, May 29, 1961. He left school when he was 15 and entered the Helsinki Coll. of Music. His studies were interrupted three times due to lack of funds, but he persevered until going to Paris in 1924 for further training. During his Paris sojourn, he met Ravel, Schmitt, and other composers who made a marked impression upon him. In 1925 he returned to Finland. The premiere of his Karelian Rhapsody for Orch. (Helsinki, Sept. 1928) earned him critical accolades. Following additional studies in Vienna (1928–29), Klami returned to Finland once again to pursue his career as a composer. He also served as music critic of the Helsingin Sanomat from 1932 to 1959. From 1938 to 1959 he held a Finnish state pension for artists, and in 1959 he was elected a member of the Finnish Academy. As a composer, Klami succeeded in developing a cosmopolitan style outside the orbit of Sibelius. While utilizing Finnish thematic materials, he deftly combined them with non- Finnish elements reflective of such masters as Ravel and Stravinsky. He was a master of orchestration, perhaps best revealed in his fine Kalevala Suite (1932; rev. 1943).


dramatic: Ballet: Whirls (1957-60; unfinished). orch.: 2 piano concertos (Night in Montmartre, 1924; 1950); Sérénades espagnoles (1924; rev. 1944); Karelian Rhapsody (1927; Helsinki, Sept. 1928); Rhapsody (1927); Merikuvia (Sea Pictures; 1928-30); 3 syms.: Symphonie enfantine (1928), No. 1 (1937) and No. 2 (1944); Opernredoute (1929); Kuvia maalaiselämasta (Rustic Scenes; 1930); Helsinki March (1930); 4 Folk Songs for Piano and Strings (1930); Cheremissian Fantasy for Cello and Orch. (1930); Fantaisie tschérémisse for Cello and Orch. (1931); Kalevala Suite (1932; rev. version, Helsinki, Oct. 1943); Sérénades joyeuses (1933); Lemminkäinen (1934); Karelian Dances (1935); Suomenlinna (Fortress of Finland; 1940; Stockholm, March 1941); Violin Concerto (1942; rev. 1954); Revontulet (Aurora Borealis; 1946); Pyörailija (The Cyclist), rondo (1946); Karjalainen tori (Karelian Market Place; 1947); Theme and Variations for Cello and Orch. (1950). chamber:Nain tragédie, string quartet (1920); Piano Quartet (1921); Piano Quintet (1923). vocal:Psalmus for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1935–36); Vipusessa käynti (In the Belly of Vipunen) for Baritone, Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1938); Laulu Kuujärvestä (The Song of Kuujarvi) for Baritone and Orch. (1956); Kultasauvalliset (The People with the Golden Staffs), festive cantata (1961).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire