About the book
Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) is one of the most popular and prominent composers to have emerged from Northern Europe. In his native Finland he achieved monumental status, and his orchestral works are staples of the repertoire. For so public a figure, however, much of his life has been shrouded in mystery, particularly the compositional silence of his last three decades. This study shows that Sibelius was plagued by nerves and self-doubt, frequently seeking refuge in alcohol, and that the long creative silence was in reality bound up with the composition of an eighth symphony which he was ultimately to destroy. This is the first single-volume biography on Sibelius in English to be published in nearly a decade, and it includes much new material not previously available.