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Sibelius Museum brings Finnish music history to life

Published : 09 Aug 2020, 01:31

Updated : 09 Aug 2020, 01:39

  DF Report by Gishnizjani Golnar

The Sibelius Museum. DF Photo.

An attraction of this old city stands at a short distance from the historical Cathedral of Turku. The Sibelius Museum does not only have on display musical instruments from early music times to date, but it also narrates the life of Jean Sibelius, an astonishing Finnish composer and violinist.

This is the only museum in Finland devoted to music. On entry into the building, a wonderful chamber music hall in the centre dazzles the eyes. There are some musical instruments and some original old music tracks that stir the heart of visitors. But the number of visitors to the museum declined recently because of the COVID-19 situation; yet, everything seems to gradually getting back to normal.

School groups and domestic and international tourists are the main visitors to the museum.

The museum’s Director Ulrika Grägg told the daily Finland that there were 8,855 visitors to the museum in 2019. “The COVID-19 situation has changed the stage. We now hope for more domestic visitors.” The museum had been closed since March and “we cancelled all concerts, programmes and group events since then.”

“The opening hours have been limited after its reopening. Cleaning guidelines are now more intense than they were in the past. Hand sanitizer has been placed at different spots and information on restrictions has been posted on the museum website,” she added.

The director said tourists are more attracted to the course on Sibelius. The architecture of the building also seems interesting to excursionists. However, A couple visiting the museum said the musical instruments were the most fascinating part of the museum, because they reminded them of their childhood and memories of their youth.

The woman said an exposure to some of these instruments brought back memories of days when music was played in her school. The man said, “I am a big fan of music. It is amazing for me to see some old instruments and review my images of favourite musicians.” He said the music hall is so beautiful and it was their bad luck that they could not hear live music because of the COVID-19 restrictions.

The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted normal activities of the museum in the summer, which is the best time to get to know more of the history of music. Grägg said, “We have already started work to arrange some events. International seminar Aboagora, which is a crossover event combining art and science, will be held in August, partly online and partly in the museum.” A live concert series that was suspended because of COVID-19 will begin in September.