The late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries was a glorious era for Scandinavian music. It was not, however, the first time for the region to experience a blossoming of musical culture. Not generally recognized today, Sweden had a strong interest in music in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Kingdom of Sweden possessed tremendous wealth and power, and the Swedish Royal Court was able to maintain well-established orchestras and opera houses. In remote areas of the Scandinavian peninsula, on the other hand, high art music was never fully developed. The nationalism movement of the nineteenth century, however, helped change the situation. Small states, provinces, or occupied territories under the rule of dominating powers began re-evaluating their identity and often longed for independence. As a result, composers like Jean Sibelius were able to pay attention to their own heritage like no musicians of the past could have ever done.
Jean Sibelius was an influential figure in his home country and is often credited to have helped the development of Finnish national identity when Finland was struggling for independence from Russia. Sibelius composed seven symphonies, of which some have become quite popular and are frequently played and recorded.Other well-known compositions by Sibelius include Violin Concerto, Op. 47, Finlandia, Op. 26, and Kullervo, Op. 7.