Toivo Kuula (1883-1918) was a Finnish composer and conductor whose style represents national romanticism.
Kuula was South Ostrobothnian who was born in Alavus and registered as a native in the city of Vaasa. He studied composition privately under Jean Sibelius from 1906 to 1908 which makes him the first composition student of Sibelius. Kuula is a colorful and passionate portrayer of Finnish nature & people and remembered especially for his large output of melodic choir and vocal works. He wrote most of his male choir compositions for the first Finnish speaking choir YL Male Voice Choir.
Kuula was known to be a fierce Fennoman. He died in 1918 in Viipuri after being mortally wounded 18 days earlier. The bullet was fired by a jäger as a result of a quarrel that happened at the Hotel Seurahuone during White victory celebration in the Civil war of Finland. Ironically, “Kuula” means “bullet” in Finnish. Kuula is buried in Helsinki.
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