Ranta, Sulho , Finnish composer and writer on music; b. Peräseinäjoki, Aug. 15, 1901; d. Helsinki, May 5, 1960. He studied at the Univ. of Helsinki (M.A., 1925) and took courses in composition with Melartin at the Helsinki Cons. (1921–24), and later in Germany, France, and Italy. Returning to Finland, he taught at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki (1934–56) and was also active as a music critic and theater conductor. He was ed. of a comprehensive biographical dictionary of Finnish composers, Suomen Säveltäjiä (Helsinki, 1945), and a general biographical survey of performers, Sävelten Taitureita (Helsinki, 1947). As a composer, he excelled in chamber music and songs.
ORCH.: 4 syms.: No. 1, Sinfonia programmatica (1929–31), No. 2, Sinfonia piccola (1931–32), No. 3, Sinfonia semplice (1936), and No. 4, Sinfonia dell’arte (1947); Tuntematon maa (The Unknown Land) for Piano and Orch. (1930); 2 concertinos: No. 1 for Piano and Strings (1932) and No. 2 for Flute, Harp, Viola, and Strings (1934); Kainuun kuvia (Images boréales), suite (1933); Concerto for Orch.estra (1938); Kansansatu (Folk Story), symphonic variations (1940). CHAMBER : Piano Trio (1923); Suite symphonique for Flute, Clarinet, Horn, String Quartet, and Piano (1926–28); Concertino for String Quartet (1935); piano pieces. VOCAL : Sydämen tie (The Way of the Heart), cantata (1945–46); Oratorio volgare for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1951); Eksyneitten legioonalaisten rukous (Prayer of the Lost Legionnaires) for 8 Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1956).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire