Ainola: beloved country home of Sibelius

Sibelius’ house in Ainola, Finland

The great Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957), in reminiscing to Santeri Levas, his personal secretary of his late years (1938 – 1957), related a strange incident that occurred after he had finished his 5th Symphony. Twelve white swans, after settling on a lake near his home, Ainola, rose up and circled the house three times before flying away. Sibelius came to regard the actions of the swans as auspicious, for his 5th Symphony remains his most performed and most enduringly popular work.

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