Stamp of the Month: February 2024

Oskar Merikanto

Finland 5.8.1968

The Finnish composer Frans Oskar Merikanto was born on August 5, 1868 in Helsinki and died on February 17, 1924 in Hausjärvi-Oitti. February 2024 will mark the 100th anniversary of his death.
After publishing his first organ and piano concerto in 1887, Oskar Merikanto studied organ, piano, music theory and composition in Leipzig and Berlin. In 1892 he became organist at what is now St. John’s Church in Helsinki, a position he held until his death.From 1911 to 1922 he was opera conductor at what is now the Finnish
National Opera. He also worked as an organ teacher at the Church Music School and the Helsinki Music Institute and was considered Finland’s leading organ expert throughout the country for many years.
Oskar Merikanto composed three operas, violin, piano and organ pieces, choral works and songs. His musical play “Pohjan neiti” from 1898 (“Miss of the North”) is considered the first opera in the Finnish language. His melodic and folk songs, which he composed to Finnish, Swedish and German texts, are also well known.


The video shows, among other dancers, the later French professional dancer Julien Conti with his partner Cassandra Cauvemberg at a junior dance competition in 2014/2015 with “Valse Lente” op. 33 by Oskar Merikanto.