Tag Archives: Ainola

Minutes of 2019 AGM

Members of Sibelius One at the 2019 AGM. Photo: © Rob Ebbers

Sibelius One’s 2019 AGM was held at Ainola on 5 September.

Members may read or download minutes of the 2019 AGM by clicking this link. Please note that you must be logged in to the site in order to access the page. Also available on the same page are short accounts for 2018 and an updated version of Sibelius One’s constitution.

New curator at Ainola

Ainola (photo: © SIbelius One)

At a meeting on Saturday 8 September 2018, the Ainola Foundation decided to invite Julia Donner to become the new curator at Jean Sibelius’s home, Ainola. She will start work on Monday 8 October 2018. Her predecessor, Hanne Selkokari, will become an amanuensis at the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki, starting on 15 October 2018.

Julia Donner is an art historian who has specialized in garden art and landscape architecture. Since 2012 she has taught and undertaken research at the Aalto University; she has written many books and articles. With specific reference to Ainola she has written ‘Oi terve tarhurineito…’: Aino Sibeliuksen puutarha (2006) and contributed to the book Ainola – The Home of Jean and Aino Sibelius (ed. Esko Häkli & Severi Blomstedt; Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura 2015)

Ainola’s summer season ends on Sunday 30 September 2018.

Source: Ainola Foundation press release


Ainola 2018

Photo: © Leon Chia

The programme at Sibelius’s home, Ainola, in 2018 includes numerous concerts and garden tours.

Concerts 2018

Lahti Sibelius Festival mini-concerts will be given on Wednesday 13 June and Sunday 17 June at 12 noon and 1 pm by the Wellamo Trio (Lotta Nykäsenoja, violin; Ilkka Uurtimo, cello and Anu Silvasti, piano). On the programme is Sibelius’s Piano Trio in A minor, ‘Hafträsk’, JS 207 (1886).
Entry is included in the Ainola admission ticket price or via the Museum Card.
No prior reservations or seating / no guided tours between 11.30 and 1.30 on concert days.

Meidän Festivaali / Our Festival concerts will take place on Monday 23 July at 2 pm and 5 pm. The concerts have the theme ‘Animals and Plants’, and the festival’s artistic director Pekka Kuusisto is among the performers.
Gabriella Smith: Carrot Revolution [Kamus Quartet]
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Sonata Representativa [Pekka Kuusisto, violin / Jarmo Julkunen, guitar]
Tytti Arola: Metsä [Pekka Kuusisto, violin]
Jean Sibelius: ‘The Trees’, Op. 75 [Ingfrid Breie Nyhus, piano]
Tickets, 2 pm – click here
Tickets, 5 pm – click here

Music on Sibelius’s instruments – Thursday 30 August at 6 pm
Kaisa Porra-Hänninen, violin; Kari Hänninen, piano
Music by Jean Sibelius, Armas Järnefelt and Joonas Kokkonen
These artists return to Ainola after a concert in December 2016 also featuring Sibelius’s own instruments. Kaisa Porra-Hänninen has played in the Finnish National Opera Orchestra for most of her career and has appeared frequently with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Lahti Symphony orchestra. Kari Hänninen has worked as a choir répétiteur at the Finnish National Opera, as an orchestral pianist and as an accompanist at the Sibelius Academy.
Tickets – click here

‘Do you hear how nature smells?’ – Thursday 20 September at 6 pm
Jussi Makkonen, cello; Nazig Azezian, piano
This concert, on the 61st anniversary of Sibelius’s death, includes some of Sibelius’s most popular pieces in arrangements for cello and piano (The Spruce; Valse triste; Finlandia). In 2017 Makkonen and Azezian received a platinum disc for their recording accompanying the children’s book Soiva metsä (Melody Forest). That disc was recorded at Ainola in 2014 and are well-known for championing Sibelius’s music internationally, and especially for their performances for children and young people’
Hear them perform Finlandia – click here
Tickets – click here

‘Well-known and Enigmatic’ – Saturday 8 December at 5 pm
Folke Gräsbeck, piano; Petteri Iivonen, violin, with Prof. Timo Virtanen
Folke Gräsbeck has performed more than 400 works by Sibelius and recorded them extensively. Petteri Iivonen, winner of the Kuopio Violin Competition and a prizewinner at the Sibelius Violin Competition in 2010, performs regularly as a soloist with prestigious international orchestras. Timo Virtanen is editor-in-chief of the Jean Sibelius Works critical edition.
Tickets go on sale in June.

Garden Tours

During the summer of 2018 there will be guided tours of the garden that Aino Sibelius created at Ainola. The tours will focus on the planning of the garden, the choice of decorative and functional plants, the history of the garden and Aino Sibelius’s significance for Finnish gardening.

The construction of Ainola’s garden began in 1904 when the family moved in. The garden’s essential nature has been well preserved, and reveals much both about the importance of growing plants for food and about the way the beauty of nature provided artistic inspiration for the family. For Sibelius, the grounds and garden at Ainola were an important source of inspiration, as is shown for example in the numerous piano pieces that are named after trees and flowers.

Guided tours in Finnish on Thursdays at 3 pm (until 13 September 2018)
Guided tours in English on Thursdays in August at 12 noon
Entry is included in the Ainola admission ticket price or via the Museum Card
Group bookings available (€30 per group plus admission ticket price) – information: info@ainola.fi
(N.B. There will be no tours on 21 June, 23 August, 20 September and 27 September)

Other news

The roots of the spruce hedge adjoining the car park at Ainola have been affected by excavations, and the hedge will be renewed in the spring of 2018. For the sake of consistency, the hedge is also being also extended on the other side of the gate. At the same time, the gate will be replaced because the position of the hedge is changing. While the new hedge is growing, a metal fence is being incorporated into it.


Sibelius for Chinese President’s wife

Folke Gräsbeck playing Sibelius’s Steinway at Ainola (Photo: © Sibelius One)

The pianist Folke Gräsbeck has given a special Sibelius concert at Ainola for Peng Liyuan, wife of President Xi Jinping of China.

The performance took place on Wednesday 5 April 2017. On Sibelius’s newly renovated Steinway piano, Folke Gräsbeck performed The Solitary Fir Tree, The Birch and The Spruce (from ‘The Trees’, Op. 75), The Columbine from Op. 85, Con passione and Finlandia. The rarity Con passione, JS 53 (1919), was selected because it was composed for the artist Oscar Parviainen, several of whose paintings are at Ainola.

The concert was organized at the instigation of Jenni Haukio, wife of President Sauli Niinistö of Finland, who knew of Peng Liyuan’s great liking for the music of Sibelius.

Peng Liyuan (photo: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence)

Born in Shandong, Peng Liyuan is head of the Chinese Song and Dance Ensemble in the General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army, and ranked first class in the civil service with the military rank of major general; she is the wife of the current Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The daughter of an opera singer, she gained popularity as a soprano from her regular appearances on the annual CCTV New Year’s Gala, and has won many honours in singing competitions nationwide. She was the first in China to obtain a Master’s degree in traditional ethnic music. Since 2011 she has also been World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.







Birthday concert at Ainola


A concert of Sibelius’s music for violin and piano will be held at Sibelius’s home, Ainola, at 6 pm on Thursday 8 December 2016.

The performers will be Kaisa Porra-Hänninen, violin, and Kari Hänninen, piano.

The concert will be introduced by the performers, and Kaisa Porra-Hänninen will also discuss Sibelius’s own Serafin violin, on which she will be playing.

Tickets €22.50 / €11.50 (children aged 4−16) from Lippu.fi (click here)

The Ainola plot will be open on Sibelius’s birthday from 8 am until 6 pm. Members of the public can visit the composer’s grave and see Ainola’s garden in winter.

The museum shop and Café Aulis will be open from 10 am until 6 pm.

Students from the Keskisen Uudenmaan Musiikkiopisto in Järvenpää will play and sing at Café Aulis from 4 pm–5 pm that day.





Joseph Tong plays Sibelius in Finland


The renowned British pianist Joseph Tong will perform a selection of Sibelius’s piano works, including the composer’s own transcription of Finlandia, in three recitals at prominent venues in Finland in early September. The works also feature on his from his new CD on the Quartz label.

Joseph Tong studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music in London, making his Wigmore Hall début in 1997 as a winner of the Maisie Lewis Young Artists Award.

Sunday 6th September, Helsinki Music Centre, Camerata Hall, 7.00pm http://www.musiikkitalo.fi/en/content/sibelius-150th-anniversary-piano-recital
Kyllikki, Op. 41
Five Pieces ‘The Trees’, Op. 75
Five Pieces ‘The Flowers’, Op. 85
Five Romantic Pieces, Op. 101
Juha T. Koskinen: Piccarda on the Moon
Sonatina in F sharp minor, Op. 67 No. 1
Five Esquisses, Op. 114
Two Rondinos, Op. 68
Finlandia, Op. 26

Tuesday 8th September, Ainola, Järvenpää, 6.00pm
A Sibelius piano recital on the composer’s Steinway at Ainola
Kyllikki, Op. 41
Five Pieces ‘The Trees’, Op. 75
Five Pieces ‘The Flowers’, Op. 85
Five Romantic Pieces, Op. 101
Sonatina in F sharp minor, Op. 67 No. 1
Five Esquisses, Op. 114
Two Rondinos, Op. 68
Finlandia, Op. 26

Wednesday 9th September, Hämeenlinna Town Hall, 7.00pm
Programme same as 8th September

All the details for these concerts can also be found at  http://www.sibelius150.org/en

Ainola railway station

Ainola Railway Station (photo © Junafani / Wilimedia Commons)
Ainola Railway Station (photo © Junafani / Wilimedia Commons)

The closest railway station to Jean Sibelius’s home, Ainola, has been renamed Ainola to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

The station was named Kyröla until 30th June 2015, and is situated between Kerava and Järvenpää on the line from Helsinki to Riihimäki. It takes approx. 20 minutes to walk from the station to Ainola.

This is not the first time that Sibelius and his world have featured on Finnish railways. From 1992 until 2010 a daily train from Helsinki to St Petersburg bore the name ‘Sibelius’.


Sibelius on original instruments

Photo: © Sibelius One
Photo: © Sibelius One


A CD of Sibelius’s works for violin and piano and songs has been recorded at his home, Ainola, using the composer’s own violin and his own Steinway piano.

The recording features Satu Jalas (Sibelius’s granddaughter), violin, Lilli Paasikivi, soprano, and Folke Gräsbeck, piano.

The programme features a generous selection of Sibelius’s most popular works in these genres including the Romance in F major and Rondino for violin and piano, and songs such as Våren flyktar hastigt, Svarta rosor and Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings möte.

The CD will be released by the Ainola Foundation in June 2015. Further information will be published later.

Folke Gråsbeck has also recently recorded a Sibelius solo piano CD on the Ainola Steinway for BIS Records (BIS-2132).