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07.08.2020

Sibelius Museum, Turku

Sibelius Museum is a music museum named after Finnish composer Jan Sibelius. The museum is located near the Turku Cathedral in the historic centre of Turku on the southwest coast of Finland. It is the only music museum in Finland . The museum has an extensive collection of historical musical instruments from around the world. The museum's archives include documents (notes, manuscripts, recordings, photographs, concert programs, etc.). The museum was first established in the 1920s as a seminar for the Department of Musicology at the University of Abo Akademi and later developed into its own department. At present, the museum is organized and funded by the Åbo Akademi Foundation. The current building was built and opened in 1968 to a design by architect Voldemar Beckman.

The museum consists of two main exhibitions: a collection of instruments and a Sibelius exhibition. The collection of instruments revolves around the museum's concert hall, the Sibelius Hall, and continues to the second floor below. The Sibelius exhibition is located in the furthest left corner if you look at the box office.  There are also thematic exhibitions in the museum. In 2018 they are "Sibbe50" and "Cantata for Doctors - Music at Academic Ceremonies". "Sibbe50 celebrates the architecture of Voldemar Beckmann and the 50th anniversary of the current museum building. The exhibition "Cantata for Doctors - Music at Academic Ceremonies". Finnish universities. 

The Sibelius Museum also organizes concerts in the museum, the most notable of which is the museum's concert series, a Wednesday concert series that has been held since 1968. Besides these concerts, the museum also organizes other concerts. The program of the concert varies from performer to performer, but mainly the music performed in the Sibelius Museum is oriented towards jazz, folk music and classical chamber music. 

The archives of the Sibelius Museum date back to the collections of Professor Otto Andersson from the Faculty of Musicology at the University of Abo Akademi. [6] The archives contain materials from various aspects of Finnish musical life, such as manuscripts, photographs and records. In addition, the archives have several special collections. These collections include the extensive Jan Sibelius collection, the Otto Andersson archive collection and the Turku Music Society archive.

In addition to exhibitions and archives, the museum premises have a couple of classrooms and study rooms. The Brahe and Flora classrooms, for example, are named after the student choirs of the University of Abo Akademi, Brahe Jaknar and Florakören.

In the Sibelius Museum there was a botanical garden of the Royal Academy of Turku (Swedish: Kungliga Akademien I Åbo, Finnish: Kuninkaallinen Turun Akatemia). Per Kalm, a student of Carl von Linne, founded the garden in 1757.  In the garden he planted plants from his travels in North America and Russia. After the Great Fire in Turku in 1827, the only surviving plant was oak, which stands between the bank of the Aura River and the current museum building. After the fire, printer Christian Ludwig Hjelt bought a garden plot in 1831 and built a couple of wooden houses on it. 

In 1923, Ellen and Magnus Dahlström bequeathed a plot of garden to the Abo Akademie Foundation. Attempts to restore the garden to its original state were made in the 1930s, during which Eustus Montell sought to plant his collections near the Kalma oak tree. After his death in 1954, the attempts were stopped, resulting in the destruction of the garden and the demolition of houses built by Hjelt.

The foundations of the Museum of History and Music itself were laid back in 1926, when Otto Andersson was appointed professor at the newly established Faculty of Music and Folklore Science at the University of Abo Akademi. In addition, Mattson's son, Kurt, donated a remarkable collection of instruments from around the world for Professor Andersson's collections. However, the original idea of the collections was to organize a seminar for the Faculty of Musicology, which would have the largest library possible. 

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