Einar Englund's music evinces a variety of stylistic resources and a catholicity of spirit that rival those of Igor Stravinsky
, one of the composers who influenced him most.
One of modern Finland's most renowned composers, Englund was born on the Swedish island of Gotland in 1916, and lived there for much of his life. He died in 1999. Englund's training included stints in both the U.S. (he studied with Copland
at the Tanglewood Festival) and the Soviet Union. He was noted as an educator and as a music critic for a Helsinki daily newspaper as well as for his compositions. Currents of Bartókian folk modalism, Stravinskian Neo-Classicism, and a very Shostakovich
-like confluence of irony and eloquence all flow through his music. Another influence he shares with Stravinsky
is that of jazz -- but whereas most European composers gained only a secondhand appreciation of jazz, Englund got to know the music well, working as a jazz pianist in the 1940s and 1950s.