(b Viipuri [now Vyborg, Russia], 14 Aug 1869; dStockholm, 23 June 1958). Swedish conductor and composer of Finnish birth. He studied under Wegelius and Busoni in Helsinki (1887–90), Becker in Berlin (1890) and Massenet in Paris (1893–4), and after minor conducting posts in Germany was conductor of the Viipuri Municipal Orchestra from 1898 to 1903. Following guest engagements at the Helsinki and Stockholm opera houses, and a year as director of the Helsinki Music Institute (1906–7), he settled in Stockholm in 1907 as conductor of the Royal Opera. In 1910, on his additional appointment as court conductor, he took Swedish nationality, and in 1923 he became the Royal Opera’s principal conductor. He returned to Finland as director of the Finnish National Opera (1932–6), and later became conductor of the Helsinki PO (1942–3). In Sweden he introduced Mahler’s Symphony no.8 and Das Lied von der Erde and Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder to the concert repertory, and he was an authoritative interpreter of Sibelius (whose wife, Aino, was Järnefelt’s sister). At the Finnish National Opera he played an important part in broadening the repertory, especially with operas by Mozart and Wagner. His own works are Romantic in style, often with a national or patriotic basis, and include the slight but charming Berceuse and Praeludium, both for small orchestra, which became exceedingly popular for a time.
Orch: Korsholma, sym. poem, 1894; Sym. Fantasy, 1895; Berceuse, small orch, 1904; Suite; Praeludium, small orch; Koskenlasku [Shooting the Rapids]; Aamulla varhain [Early in the Morning]
Choral: Isänmaan kasvot [The Face of the Fatherland], S, Bar, chorus, orch, 1927; Päivänpoika [Son of Day] (E. Leino), Bar, male vv, orch, 1939; Temppelinrakentajat [The Temple Builders], chorus, orch, 1940; Åbo slott [Turku Castle], male vv, wind, db