Jean Sibelius is indisputably the internationally best-known of all Finnish composers ever. He is known above all for his orchestral music: his seven symphonies, Finlandia and many other tone poems are constantly performed around the world, and his Violin Concerto is among the most popular of its kind from the 20th century. Vocal music was also important for him, and his solo songs include many miniature masterpieces. He successfully combined international influences with a search for a quintessentially Finnish musical language. “Sibelius progressed along two parallel lines: from the national to the universal on the one hand and from the Romantic to the Classical on the other,” writes Kimmo Korhonen. The music of Sibelius acquired particularly high symbolic significance for Finnish culture at a time when the Finns were searching for their national identity under the increasingly heavy-handed rule of Imperial Russia.