On 29 August 2018 members of The Birch and the Star visited Ainola, the home of composer Jean Sibelius and his family, located in Järvenpää close to many other artists’ homes around Lake Tuusula. We spent the afternoon exploring every nook and corner of the charming early 20th century house designed by the architect Lars Sonck. We were even allowed to take a peak into parts of the house that are usually closed from the public. In the upstairs bedroom the presence of Aino Sibelius, who continued to live there after her husband’s death, could still be felt. And in the little room where Jean Sibelius had spent hours composing, reading and thinking, we encountered a ceramic bust of Beethoven sculpted by Sibelius’ friend Sigurd Wettenhovi-Aspa. The wonderful collection of artworks mostly consists of gifts given to Sibelius and his family by artist friends and admirers of the composer’s work. The garden has been kept beautifully with some plants originating from the time the Sibelius family still lived there. Of course we also stoped to pay our respects at Jean and Aino Sibelius’ grave.

We wish to thank museum director Hanne Selkokari for being such a wonderful host!