Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Peter Amstutz

Committee Co-Chair

James Miltenberger

Committee Member

James Miltenberger

Committee Member

William Haller

Committee Member

Nina Assimakopolous

Committee Member

Bruce S. Kang


Selim Palmgren (1878-1951) is one of the most significant musical figures in Finland. Unlike Jean Sibelius, who is undoubtedly the greatest Finnish symphonic composer of his time, Palmgren’s concentration is more on smaller-scale character pieces. His contribution to the piano and vocal repertoires earned him the reputation of being the “Chopin of the North” and also the “Schumann of the North.” Palmgren was not only prolific, having written over 300 piano works and 200 vocal pieces, but also versatile, frequently blending within his works various nationalistic, impressionistic, and other musical styles and elements within his works.

This paper is focused on the analytical study of two piano suites by Selim Palmgren—24 Preludes, op. 17, and Tres Piezas para Piano, op. 54. It aims to enhance our understanding of these two suites and to discover their pedagogical and aesthetic aspects. Palmgren’s piano solo works are often written in miniature form and are not often performed. However, his works are well suited for intermediate-level piano study. Their forms, lyrical melodies, and technical approaches offer good examples for the study of several pedagogical aspects. They also enrich and contribute to the piano repertoire and they deserve to be better known among pianists and audiences alike.