Finnish composer, conductor and teacher Robert Kajanus was born into a musical and artistic family in what is now Helsinki on 2 December 1856. He studied there, and also in Leipzig (where his teachers included Carl Reinecke and Hans Richter) and in Paris with Johan Svendsen. Initially he worked in Dresden before returning to Helsinki.
His accomplishments included founding and conducting the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (then known as the Helsinki Orchestral Society), conducting the first performance in Finland of Beethoven's Choral Symphony, championing the music of his friend Jean Sibelius, working for nearly thirty years as director of music at Helsinki University and composing more than two hundred works, including , the symphonic poem Aino, two Finnish Rhapsodies and various ceremonial music for Finland.
Robert Kajanus died in Helsinki on 6 July 1933, aged seventy-six.
CD Spotlight. Awesome Power - Orchestral music from Finland, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... energetic performances that consistently engage the listener ...'
CD Spotlight. Enduring Legacy - Sibelius symphonies, recommended by Howard Smith. '... an important enterprise ...'