Sibelius – The Easy Quiz (New Year 2019)

Jean Sibelius, 1939. Photo by Therese Bonney (CC BY 4.0)

2019’s New Year Quiz is a set of multiple choice questions. Good luck!

1. How many symphonies did Sibelius write?
a) 2
b) 4
c) 7
d) 104

2. Sibelius was born in the year in which an American president died. Which one?
a) George Washington
b) Abraham Lincoln
c) Theodore Roosevelt
d) Donald Trump

3. The Swan of Tuonela features a major solo for which instrument?
a) cor anglais
b) clarinet
c) bassoon
d) theremin

4. Sibelius’s eldest daughter’s married name was…
a) Ruth Snellman
b) Heidi Blomstedt
c) Eva Paloheimo
d) Theresa May

5. Kullervo and Lemminkäinen, as depicted in music by Sibelius, are characters in which epic poem?
a) Kalevipoeg
b) Kalevala
c) Epic of Gilgamesh
d) The Owl And The Pussy-Cat

6. Who played the solo part at the first performance of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto (original version)?
a) Karel Halíř
b) Viktor Nováček
c) Jascha Heifetz
d) Nicola Benedetti

7. In which city was Sibelius’s Seventh Symphony premièred?
a) Helsinki
b) Copenhagen
c) Stockholm
d) Kuala Lumpur

8. Sibelius and Winston Churchill famously shared a love of
a) mineral water
b) cigars
c) pizza
d) deep-fried Mars bars

9. The tone poem Tapiola is an evocation of
a) Finnish lakes
b) Swedish forests
c) Finnish forests
d) Mount Fuji

10. In 1893 Sibelius wrote a score for tableaux based on the history of which geographical region?
a) Häme
b) Ostrobothnia
c) Karelia
d) the Highlands of Scotland

11. In 1892 Sibelius married
a) Aino Järnefelt
b) Aino Ackté
c) Aino Kajanus
d) Rosa Newmarch

12. Sibelius’s home, Ainola, was designed by
a) Eliel Saarinen
b) Lars Sonck
c) Alvar Aalto
c) Frank Gehry

13. Sibelius sheltered at the Lapinlahti Mental Hospital during which conflict?
a) Winter War
b) Continuation War
c) Finnish Civil War
d) Falklands War

14. Donald Tovey described the finale of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto as a polonaise for…
a) elk
b) polar bears
c) wolves
d) unicorns

15. Sibelius’s Seventh Symphony was originally named
a) Fantasia fennica
b) Fantasia rapsodica
c) Fantasia sinfonica
d) Fantasia fantastica

16. Before composing his Fourth Symphony, Sibelius was inspired by a visit to
a) Lapland
b) Koli mountain
c) the Åland Islands
d) his mother-in-law

17. In his youth Sibelius greatly enjoyed summer visits to his grandmother’s house in
a) Porvoo
b) Lovisa
c) Korpo
d) Birmingham

18. At the end of his career, at the height of his powers, Sibelius stopped producing major works. He is therefore sometimes compared to which Shakespearean character?
a) Prospero
b) Macbeth
c) Falstaff
d) Bottom

19. In Sweden, the title of Sibelius’s Kullervo usually appears on programmes as
a) Koullerveau
b) Kullervo
c) Knullervo
d) Erik

20. Sibelius advised a conductor in detail about recording his Fourth Symphony, and later suggested that the same conductor should record The Oceanides. Which conductor?
a) Thomas Jensen
b) Thomas Beecham
c) Thomas Dausgaard
d) Thomas the Tank Engine

21. Sibelius’s famous piece of incidental music depicting the dance of a dying woman is called
a) Valse lyrique
b) Valse chavaleresque
c) Valse triste
d) La Valse

22. Sibelius’s Jäger March was originally composed as
a) hunting music for an opera
b) a military song for the Royal Prussian 27th Jäger Battalion
c) a ceremonial march for the President of Finland
d) an entry in the Eurovision Song Contest

23. The title of Sibelius’s opera Jungfrun i tornet is usually translated into English as
a) The Maiden in the Thorns
b) The Maiden in the Town
c) The Maiden in the Tower
d) The Maiden in the Internet

24. Among Sibelius’s fiftieth birthday presents, still preserved at his home Ainola, was
a) a Steinway piano
b) a painting by Rembrandt
c) a Ming vase
d) a year’s supply of beefburgers

25. Sibelius auditioned unsuccessfully for a post as violinist with which orchestra?
a) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
b) London Symphony Orchestra
c) Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
d) Bach Collegium Japan

Click here for the correct answers!