Jean Sibelius and Béla Bartók, two composers from the fringe of Europe, had to create space for themselves in the midst of Austro-German dominance of turn-of-the-century music. Both encountered in the hitherto unknown folk music of their respective countries an “Other” that enabled them to develop an idiom different from the mainstream but equally coherent. Sibelius became in Finland's a national hero due to his patriotic music from the turn-of-the-century. As a consequence, his figure grew into mountainous dimensions, and many of his successors were doomed to live under his shadow. After World War II a new beginning was needed. Anxious of the influence of Sibelius and searching for a new starting point young composers encountered the music of Bartók, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, the otherness of which enabled them to “misread” the Sibelian tradition in a creative manner. Especially important was Bartók, notably for Joonas Kokkonen (1921-96). Some later composers, for whom Sibelius was not a problem anymore, were looking in Bartók's works for new patterns of misprision.