Sibelius at the turn of the century.

The statue of Finland's national poet J.L.Runeberg on the Helsinki Esplanade in the late 1890s.

Runeberg was one of the poets whose work Sibelius loved and set to music most. The building on the far left housed the famous restaurant Kämp, which Sibelius frequented both around this time and later on.

Together with premiere performance of the Symphony no. 1 in the spring of 1899, Aténarnes sång (The War Song of the Tyrtaeus) was also performed for the first time. The song was Sibelius's patriotic comment against the harsh Russianization policy of the Czarist regime, and from this moment on Sibelius was to be identifield at the forefront of nationalist feeling.

Caricatures are one of the signs of growing fame. Drawing from 1904.

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