Sinisalo, Gelmer-Rainer

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sinisalo, Gel’mer-Rainer Nesterovich


Born June 14, 1920, in Zlatoust, Cheliabinsk Oblast. Soviet composer and flutist. People’s Artist of the USSR (1978).

Sinisalo graduated from the Petrozavodsk Music School in 1939. He studied composition with N. I. Peiko at the Moscow Conservatory from 1952 to 1954 and with V. V. Voloshinov at the Leningrad Conservatory in 1954 and 1955. In the period 1935 to 1944 he was a member of various orchestras in Petrozavodsk. From 1944 to 1956, Sinisalo was a member of the symphony orchestra of Petrozavodsk Radio; at the same time he served as artistic director and conductor of the Kantele State Song and Dance Company.

Sinisalo taught classes in composition and flute at the Petrozavodsk Music School from 1948 to 1957. In 1956 he became chairman of the administrative board of the Union of Composers of the Karelian ASSR. Sinisalo was the composer of Sampo, the first Karelian ballet (1959, based on themes from the Karelian-Finnish epic Kalevala). His other works include the ballet I Recall a Wondrous Moment (1962), the cantata In Defense of Peace, the symphony Heroes of the Forest, and the suite Karelian Scenes.

Sinisalo has received three orders and various medals.


Lapchinskii, G. Put’ kompozitora. Petrozavodsk, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.