The conductor Sasha Makila tells Slipped Disc that house where Jean Sibelius lived in his home town Kerava is being put up for sale by the Finnish Government. Sibelius lived there between 1889 and 1902, the period when he composed Finalndia and the first two symphonies. You would have thought the house counted as national heritage but the Finns are an unsentimental lot.
Known as the Mattila House, the auction is being held here today. The lot includes a granary, where Sibelius retreated to compose when his kids got too noisy.
Sasha says he would have kept the sale to himself and made a decent bid, but the property needs a lot of work to make it habitable again. ‘When I saw the list of urgent repairs, I got cold feet,’ he tells us. The Mattila house is not to be confused with Ainola, north of Helsinki, which Sibelius built later from the royalties of his successful works and which remains his national shrine.