Faltin, Richard


The recognized successor of Pacius, called "the father of Finnish music," who died in 1891, and undoubtedly one of the most gifted and welltrained of the musicians of Finland. Faltin was born in Danzig, West Prussia, of Finnish parents, and studied music first in his native town with F. W. Markus, who instructed him in piano, in theory and in composition. About 1852 he became a pupil of Markell and of Frederick Schneider, at Dessau, and also studied at the Leipsic Conservatory under such noted instructors as Moscheles, Plaidy, Hermann, Richter and Hauptmann. In 1856 he accepted a position as music-teacher in the Bohm Educational Institute at Wiborg, Finland, where he organized a singing and an orchestral society, and so successfully drilled these forces that, within a comparatively short time, he could give a number of symphony concerts. He was called to Helsingfors in 1869, and has even since resided there, taking a prominent part in the musical life of that town. In that year Faltin became conductor of the Swedish Theatre there, and also of a standing orchestra, in 1870 he was appointed organist of the Nicolai Church, and in 1871, director of music at the Imperial Alexander University and conductor of the Finnish Opera. The same year he organized the Helsingfors Singing Society, which, under his leadership, has since distinguished itself by the excellence of its oratorio concerts. In 1893, when Faltin resigned his position at the University of Helsingfors, the title of professor was conferred upon him. For fifty years he has been active as a teacher, principally for piano, but also for organ, violin, solo and choir-singing, and theory and composition as well. Faltin has written many songs, with piano accompaniment; choruses and cantatas which show many beauties; organ preludes and other music. His songs and choral number for both men's and women's voices have been especially praised by critics and musicians. He has also written a number of Finnish songs and a Finnish SongBook, issued a few years ago is rich in contributions from his pen. In 1904 his Choral-Finales with preludes appeared.