Leiviskä, Helvi (Lemmikki)
- Kimmo Korhonen
(b Helsinki, May 25, 1902; d Helsinki, Aug 12, 1982). Finnish composer. She studied composition at the Helsinki Music Institute (now the Sibelius Academy) with Melartin (1919–27) and continued her studies in Vienna with Arthur Willner (1928–9). She worked as a librarian at the Sibelius Academy and as a music critic. Leiviskä’s début took place in 1935 with a concert of her own compositions, most notably her Piano Concerto (1935). Her early works are Romantic, but after World War II she developed a highly contrapuntal style that in the last works moved towards free tonality; at the same time her music became more serious, sometimes even austere. Leiviskä’s main compositions include three symphonies (1947, 1954 and 1971) and – perhaps her best-known work – the Sinfonia brevis (1962), a single-movement piece with a concluding triple fugue.