He is widely recognized as his country’s greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia.
Sibelius was born on 8 December 1865 in the Grand Duchy of Finland, an autonomous part of the Russian Empire. He was the son of the Swedish-speaking medical doctor Christian Gustaf Sibelius and Maria Charlotta Sibelius née Borg. The family name stems from the Sibbe estate in Eastern Uusimaa, which his paternal great-grandfather owned.
Jean Sibelius lived the first 20 years of his life in Hämeenlinna. The rooms of his birthplace are decorated in the style of the era between the 1860s and the 1880s, and the museum exhibition sheds light on little Janne’s childhood years in Hämeenlinna.