Uuno Klami

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Uuno (Kalervo) Klami (20 September 1900 – 29 May 1961) was a Finnish composer. He was born in Virolahti. Many of his works are related to the Kalevala. He was influenced by French and Spanish music, and especially by Maurice Ravel, for whom he had a particular esteem.[1]

He participated in five armed conflicts, including two wars in Karelia, the Finnish Civil War, the Winter War of 1939-40 and the Continuation War of 1941-44.


Klami studied music in Helsinki with Erkki Melartin and later in Paris and Vienna. His main works include the Kalevala Suite and the unfinished ballet Whirls. The oratorio Psalmus (1936) has a unique place in Finnish sacred music and is one of the most highly regarded works by a Finn other than Sibelius.[citation needed] Klami also experimented with the symphonic form in his two Symphonies (1938 and 1945) and Symphonie enfantine (1927), and the concerto form in his two Piano Concertos (No. 1 Une nuit à Montmartre and No. 2 for Piano and Strings) and the Violin Concerto (1943). Being a master of miniature orchestral works, the orchestral suite Sea Pictures is also regarded as one of his major achievements. On the recommendation of Sibelius he was granted a small lifetime income from the government. In 1959 he was made a member of the Finnish Academy (one of Finland's highest honors).

The energetic Karelian Rhapsody was the first Finnish orchestral work to be published in Finland, and a long-time favourite in radio concert programs.

Klami died of a heart attack in Virolahti at age 60 while sailing his favorite boat "Miina".

Major compositions

  • Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 8 Une nuit à Montmartre (1925)
  • Scenes from a Puppet Theatre (1925, orch. 1931)
  • Karelian Rhapsody, Op. 15 (1927)
  • Symphonie enfantine, Op. 17 (1928)
  • Opernredoute, Op. 20 (1929)
  • Cheremissian Fantasy for Cello & Orchestra, Op. 19 (1931)
  • Hommage à Haendel, Op. 21 (1931)
  • Sea Pictures (1930–32)
  • Scenes from a Country Life (1932)
  • Sérénades joyeuses (1933)
  • Lemminkäinen’s Island Adventures (1934)
  • Helsinki March (1934)
  • Karelian Dances (1935)
  • The Cobbler on the Heath, overture (1936)
  • Psalmus for soloists, chorus and orchestra (1932–36)
  • Suite for String Orchestra (1937)
  • Symphony No. 1 (1937–38)
  • In the Belly of Vipunen for baritone, men's chorus, & orchestra (1938) from The Kalevala
  • Suomenlinna, overture Op. 30 (1940)
  • Kalevala Suite, Op. 23 (1933-1943)
  • Concerto for Violin & Orchestra, Op. 32 (1943)
  • King Lear, overture, Op. 33 (1944)
  • Symphony No. 2, op. 35 (1945)
  • The Prodigal Son, incidental music to the play by Marin Držić (1945)
  • The Cyclist, rondo for orchestra (1946)
  • Suite for small orchestra, Op. 37 (1946)
  • Karelian Marketplace, Op. 39 (1947)
  • Revontulet / Aurore boréale ("Northern Lights"), fantasy for orchestra, Op. 38 (1948)
  • Concerto No. 2 for Piano & Strings, Op. 41 (1950)
  • All’Ouvertura, Op. 43 (1951)
  • Tema con 7 variazioni e coda for cello & orchestra, Op. 44 (1954)
  • Song of Moon Lake for baritone & orchestra (1956)
  • Pyörteitä (“Whirls”), ballet inspired by the Kalevala (Act One piano score orchestrated by Kalevi Aho, Act Two completed, Act Three lost) (1957–60)
  • The Bearer of the Golden Staff, cantata (1960–61)


  1. Tyrväinen, Helena. "Klami, Uuno (Kalervo)". Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 27 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)


  • Aho, Kalevi & Valkonen, Marjo: Uuno Klami: Elämä ja teokset. Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö, Helsinki, 1999. ISBN 951-0-25249-2
  • Korhonen, Kimmo: "Inventing Finnish Music." Finnish Music Information Centre 2003.
  • Lehtonen, Tiina-Maija: "Uuno Klami: Works." Suomen Kultuurirahaston Kymenlaakson rahasto 1986.
  • Tyrväinen, Helena: "The Success Story of the Man Who Forged the Sampo." Finnish Music Quarterly 2/2000 pp. 2–11.

Further reading

External links