Jean Sibelius, Finland's national composer, was born in Hämeenlinna and is celebrated for his profound symphonic works, often inspired by the nature and folklore of his homeland. He initially studied in Helsinki and later in Berlin and Vienna. Throughout his career, he crafted seven symphonies, numerous tone poems, and other orchestral pieces that possess a distinct Nordic character.
His most renowned composition, "Finlandia", was penned during Russian rule in Finland and symbolizes Finnish national pride and the aspiration for independence. It swiftly became an unofficial national anthem.
Despite his early successes, Sibelius withdrew from public life in the 1930s and spent the remainder of his life at his home "Ainola" near Helsinki, where he passed away in 1957. His influence on 20th-century music and Finnish culture remains palpable to this day.