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Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius, born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius, was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is recognized as his country's greatest composer and, through his music, is credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia; the core of his oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies, like his other major works, are performed and recorded in his home country and internationally. His other best-known compositions are Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto, the choral symphony Kullervo, The Swan of Tuonela. Other works include pieces inspired by nature, Nordic mythology, the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, over a hundred songs for voice and piano, incidental music for numerous plays, the opera Jungfrun i tornet, chamber music, piano music, Masonic ritual music, 21 publications of choral music. Sibelius composed prolifically until the mid-1920s, but after completing his Seventh Symphony, the incidental music for The Tempest and the tone poem Tapiola, he stopped producing major works in his last thirty years, a stunning and perplexing decline referred to as "The Silence of Järvenpää", the location of his home.

Although he is reputed to have stopped composing, he attempted to continue writing, including abortive efforts on an eighth symphony. In life, he wrote Masonic music and re-edited some earlier works while retaining an active but not always favourable interest in new developments in music; the Finnish 100 mark note featured his image until 2002. Since 2011, Finland has celebrated a Flag Day on 8 December, the composer's birthday known as the "Day of Finnish Music". In 2015, the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth, a number of special concerts and events were held in the city of Helsinki. Sibelius was born on 8 December 1865 in Hämeenlinna in the Grand Duchy of Finland, an autonomous part of the Russian Empire, he was the son of the Swedish-speaking medical doctor Christian Gustaf Sibelius and Maria Charlotta Sibelius née Borg. The family name stems from the Sibbe estate in Eastern Uusimaa, which his paternal great-grandfather owned. Sibelius's father died of typhoid in July 1868; as a result, his mother—who was again pregnant—had to sell their property and move the family into the home of Katarina Borg, her widowed mother, who lived in Hämeenlinna.

Sibelius was therefore brought up in a decidedly female environment, the only male influence coming from his uncle, Pehr Ferdinand Sibelius, interested in music the violin. It was he who gave the boy a violin when he was ten years old and encouraged him to maintain his interest in composition. For Sibelius, Uncle Pehr not only acted as a musical adviser. From an early age, Sibelius showed a strong interest in nature walking around the countryside when the family moved to Loviisa on the coast for the summer months. In his own words: "For me, Loviisa represented sun and happiness. Hämeenlinna was, it was in Hämeenlinna, when he was seven, that his aunt Julia was brought in to give him piano lessons on the family's upright instrument, rapping him on the knuckles whenever he played a wrong note. He still learned to read music, he turned to the violin, which he preferred. He participated in trios with his elder sister Linda on piano, his younger brother Christian on the cello. Furthermore, Sibelius played in quartets with neighboring families, adding to his experience in chamber music.

Fragments survive of his early compositions of the period, a trio, a piano quartet and a Suite in D Minor for violin and piano. Around 1881, he recorded on paper his short pizzicato piece Vattendroppar for violin and cello, although it might just have been a musical exercise; the first reference he to himself composing is in a letter from August 1883 in which he writes that he composed a trio and was working on another: "They are rather poor, but it is nice to have something to do on rainy days." In 1881, he started to take violin lessons from the local bandmaster, Gustaf Levander developing a strong interest in the instrument. Setting his heart on a career as a great violin virtuoso, he soon succeeded in becoming quite an accomplished player, performing David's Concerto in E minor in 1886 and, the following year, the last two movements of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in Helsinki. Despite such success as an instrumentalist, he chose to become a composer. Although his mother tongue was Swedish, in 1874 Sibelius attended Lucina Hagman's Finnish-speaking preparatory school.

In 1876, he was able to continue his education at the Finnish-language Hämeenlinna Normal Lyceum where he was a rather absent-minded pupil, although he did quite well in mathematics and botany. Despite having to repeat a year, he passed the school's final examination in 1885, which allowed him to enter a university; as a boy he was known as a colloquial form of Johan. However, during his student years, he adopted the French form Jean, inspired by the business card of his deceased seafaring uncle. Thereafter he became known as Jean Sibelius. After graduating from high school in 1885, Sibelius began to study law at the Imperial Alexander University in Finland but, showing far more interest in music, soon moved to t

Vasja Pirc

Vasja Pirc was a leading Yugoslav chess player. His name is most familiar to contemporary players as a strong exponent of the hypermodern defense now known as the Pirc Defense. Pirc was champion of Yugoslavia five times: 1935, 1936, 1937, 1951, 1953, he was awarded the International Master title in 1950, the Grandmaster title in 1953. He was made an International Arbiter in 1973. Pirc was born in Idrija a part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, died in Ljubljana. Although Pirc had a minus record against Alexander Alekhine, he beat Alekhine with the black pieces in a blitz game in Ljubljana in 1930: 1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Bd2 b6 5.f3 Bxc3 6. Bxc3 d5 7.e3 0-0 8. Bd3 c5 9. Ne2 Nc6 10.0-0 Bb7 11. Qa4 Qd7 12. Qc2 Nb4 13. Bxb4 cxb4 14.b3 Rac8 15.e4 h6 16.e5 dxc4 17.bxc4 Nd5 18. Qd2 Nc3 19. Rae1 Rfd8 20.d5 exd5 21.c5 Rxc5 22. Nd4 Bc8 23.e6 Qc7 24.exf7+ Kxf7 25.f4 Ne4 26. Qb2 Rc3 27. Nf3 Kg8 28. Ne5 Qc5+ 29. Kh1 Qd4 30. Qe2 Bf5 31.g4 Ng3+ 32.hxg3 Bxd3 33. Nxd3 Rxd3 34. Rd1 Qe4+ 35. Qg2 Rc8 36. Rxd3 Qxd3 37. Rf2 Rc1+ 38.

Kh2 a5 39. Rd2 Qe4 40. Qxe4 dxe4 41. Kg2 a4 42. Rd4 Rc2+ 43. Kf1 Rxa2 44. Rxb4 e3 45. Rxb6 e2+ 46. Kf2 a3 47. Ra6 Ra1 48. Kxe2 a2 0–1 Media related to Vasja Pirc at Wikimedia Commons Vasja Pirc player profile and games at Chessgames.com

1967 German Grand Prix

The 1967 German Grand Prix was a motor race for both Formula One and Formula Two cars held at the Nürburgring on August 6, 1967. It was race 7 of 11 in both the 1967 World Championship of Drivers and the 1967 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers; the 15-lap race was won by Brabham driver Denny Hulme. His teammate Jack Brabham finished second and Ferrari driver Chris Amon came in third. There had been some changes to the track in an attempt to slow the cars down as they approached the pit area. However, it was clear that the cars had developed over 12 months, so the changes had little effect on the lap times. A total of 16 F1 cars were entered for the event; as with the 1966 event, there were a field of 10 Formula Two cars. Amongst these F2 cars number of stars of tomorrow including Jacky Ickx and Jo Schlesser in their Matras. Among the field were two wooden-chassis Protos. Apart from the F2 entries, the field was much as usual except for a second Lola-BMW for Hubert Hahne; as this had a 2-litre engine, it was entered as a F1 car.

Jim Clark took pole position for Team Lotus, in their Cosworth DFV powered Lotus 49, averaging a speed of 105.598 mph, around 14.189 mile circuit. Clark was nearly 10 seconds faster than the next driver, Denny Hulme in the Brabham-Repco BT24. Third fastest was set by Ickx in his F2 Matra; as this was a Formula Two car, Ickx would have to start behind the main grid. Therefore, alongside Clark and Hulme on the four car front row was the BRM P115 of Jackie Stewart and Dan Gurney’s Eagle-Weslake T1G; the second Eagle of McLaren headed up the second row, where he was joined by John Surtees in his Honda RA273 and Jack Brabham in his Brabham-Repco BT24. Clark converted his pole position into an early lead, while his Team Lotus team-mate Graham Hill was pushed from his grid position of 13th, onto some grass, restarting the back of the field, behind the F2 cars. Clark stayed ahead Gurney for the first three laps of the race. On the fourth lap, Clark slowed, his suspension having buckled, so ended his race.

Hill managed his Lotus up to tenth before mechanical troubles put him out of the race. Gurney passed Hulme for the lead, while Brabham was third after McLaren retired with a split oil pipe. Ickx continued to impress, he was now up to fifth, behind Stewart. The Scotsman overtook Brabham, only to encounter transmission problems, so Ickx moved up to fourth. Shortly after this, the Ferrari of Chris Amon passed the F2 Matra. By lap 12, Ickx was out of the race, following the collapse of this front suspension. On the next lap, the universal joint on a driveshaft broke for the race leader, Gurney. Hulme took the lead to win from Amon. Note: The race was run with both Formula One and Formula Two cars running together. Formula Two entrants are denoted by a pink background. Lap leaders: Jim Clark Dan Gurney Denny Hulme This was the first time F1 was run on the Nürburgring with the Hohenrain chicane installed to slow the cars into the pits and the pit straight; this race was the first in F1 history to be broadcast for colour television in Germany.

First Championship race since 1962 Monaco GP without a UK driver on the podium. First World Championship race to feature an all-Australasian podium. Notes: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings. "Formula One World". Archived from the original on 5 February 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2015. Race highlights on YouTube