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Ainola – The Home of Jean Sibelius in Järvenpää, Finland

In Finland, a short drive from Helsinki lies Ainola, the home of the noted Finnish composer Jean Sibelius in Järvenpää on Lake Tuusula. Sibelius and his family moved into the house in 1904. During construction of Ainola, Sibelius had two requests: that his study should have a green fireplace and a view of Lake Tuusula. Sibelius’s works are widely admired and are considered to have contributed to the development of the Finnish national identity. Sibelius usually composed his works in his head, writing them down only after he had thoroughly developed them. On his 50th birthday, he received the gift of a grand piano, which he accepted with some reluctance since he did not use a piano to compose. He preferred to work in silence and so, when his five daughters were at play, they were sure to stay far enough away from the house so that their father could not hear them. Sibelius was born on 8 December 1865 and died on 20 September 1957. He and his wife Aino are buried in the garden of Ainola. In 1967, a monument to Sibelius was unveiled in Helsinki. The artist, Eila Hiltunen, created an abstract sculpture of 600 hollow steel pipes welded together. Although the objective of the artist was to capture the essence of Sibelius’s music, the sculpture was so controversial that Hiltunen was asked to create an additional sculpture of the likeness of Sibelius which was installed close to the original abstract monument. Continue reading

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