Quotes on Sibelius
as a composer

"We can say that Jean Sibelius is one of the most brilliant tone poets of the present time. Among the composers living today there is probably only one – Richard Strauss – who is wholly qualified to be mentioned alongside Jean Sibelius."
Erik Furuhjelm 1916

"If Sibelius is good, then the musical criteria that have been applied from Bach to Schoenberg (…) are invalid."
Theodor Adorno 1938

"Sibelius, the worst composer in the world"
René Leibowitz 1955

"Contrary to any superficial categorisation of Sibelius as a composer, he was one of the great musical innovators and revolutionaries, as a developer of symphonic form and symphonic technique (…) Only time will tell whether they [Sibelius and Shostakovich] were the last great masters of tonal music.
Erkki Salmenhaara 1984

”Sibelius is so concentrated and exact. With Sibelius you feel that if one drop touches your skin it would burn right through the bone."
Simon Rattle 1998