Composer Sven Einar Englund was born on June 17th 1916, in Ljugarn Gotland Sweden, Englund was one of the most important and prolific Finnish composers. He was active writing music for the concert hall and also contributed scores for theatre and cinema. His first film score was Omena Putoaa (1952) which was followed by his music for the highly thought of Finnish movie THE WHITE REINDEER which was also released in 1952. Englund began to study music at the Helsinki Conservatory at the age of seventeen. After graduating from the conservatory he began to have further instruction on piano from Ernst Linko and Martti Paavola, whilst doing this he also took more lessons in composition from, Bengt Carlson and Selim Palmgren. In 1941, the composer was conscripted into the armed forces and during the Finnish Continuation War he received a wound in his hand. The injury almost stopped him pursuing his dream of becoming a concert pianist. His first major work was just after the second world war when he wrote his First Symphony in 1946. This was to later become known as the WAR SYMPHONY, it was not after this that the composer finished his second symphony THE BLACKBIRD SYMPHONY. In 1949, after receiving a grant Englund travelled to America to study with composer Aaron Copland, whilst in the States the composer also played jazz with Leonard Bernstein. During the 1950’s Englund wrote the ballet’s SINUHE and ODYSSEUS, plus he composed his first piano concerto .
The 1950’s also saw the composer starting to write for the cinema, his score for the film THE WHIT REINDEER attracting much attention and earning him a Jussi Award which is the Finnish equivalent to the Oscar. His music for the play, THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA also created a stir amongst critics and fellow composers, between 1952 and the late 1960’s he composed the sores for twenty five motion pictures and also continued to write for the concert hall well into the 1980’s. As well as this Englund also taught music at the Helsinki Conservatory which had then become the Sibelius Academy a post he held till 1982. His third symphony took twenty three years to come to fruition, with his fourth and fifth symphonies following in 1976 and 1977 respectively. He published his memoirs IN THE SHADOW OF SIBELIUS in 1997. The composer passed away on, June 27th 1999.