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Karl Rautio (1889-1963)

The composer, one of the initiators of professional musical art in Karelia

Karl Rautio was born in Finland on November 20, 1889, in 1903 he has moved to America where he has worked at the mine and practised music: played, then supervised the miners' brass band, and graduated from the faculty of music of the University of California.

In 1922 he has moved to the USSR with the group of workers and Finnish intelligentsia of which members he has organized a chorus and an orchestra while being on the way. The same year the pedagogical technical school that has become the first in Karelia secondary educational institution teaching in Finnish has opened in Petrozavodsk, and Karl Rautio became the teacher of music there. He has created there the first in Karelia mixed chorus, two orchestras (one of them was teachers' only). These years Karl Rautio studies national music of Karelia, writes pieces of music notable for their bright national colour, and songs to the verses of Karelian poets.

In 1931 Karelian radio for the first time broadcasted music performed by the symphonic ensemble, which organizer and conductor was Karl Rautio. At his active participation the first musical school has opened in Petrozavodsk, and the ensemble of folk music Kantele has been reorganized; Karl Rautio became one of the organizers of the Union of Composers of Karelia which he had headed for seven years; after the Great Patriotic War he was the musical director of the Finnish Drama Theatre.

For his long-term creative life Karl Rautio has written over forty musical compositions for symphonic and brass orchestras, the kantele folk orchestra, some musical compositions for a quartet of bow instruments, music for nine performances of the Finnish Drama Theatre, many songs and arrangements of national melodies.

In the composer's personal fund there are 101 files that mostly contain musical manuscripts of his compositions without dates.

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Created: December 2, 2004. Last updated: January 18, 2005.
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