Armas Jarnefelt

From Wind Repertory Project
Armas Järnefelt


Armas Järnefelt (14 August 1869, Vyborg (Viipuri), Finland - 23 June 1958 Stockholm, Sweden) was a Finnish composer and conductor who spent most of his life in Sweden.

Edvard Armas Järnefelt studied composition with Martin Wegelius and piano with Feruccio Busoni at Helsingfors (Helsinki) Music College (1887-1890). He continued his music education with Albert Becker in Berlin (1890-1893) and Jules Massenet in Paris (1893-1894). Järnefelt was opera coach in Germany in 1896 and 1897, first at Magdeburg, then at Düsseldorf. From 1898 to 1903 he conducted in Vyborg, followed by a season each in Helsingfors, Stockhholm, and Helsingfors.

He was a conductor of note as well as a composer of numerous orchestral works and an authority on the music of Jean Sibelius, his brother-in-law. Järnefelt’s music is romantic, often with a national or patriotic flavor. For most of his professional live Järnefelt served as an opera and theater conductor in Stockholm (1907-1932), although he returned to Finland in 1932 to conduct the Helsinki Opera for four years and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra from 1942 to 1943.

Much of Järnefelt’s music is reminiscent of the Finnish folk song style. He composed for plays and films and also wrote some significant choral and orchestral works. Among the latter are the symphonic poem Korsholma, Symphonic Fantasy, Suite, Koskenlasku—Shooting the Rapids. Aamulla varhain—Early in the Morning, and his most popular compositions, Berceuse and Praeludium.

Works for Winds


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 326.