These pictures come from a private collection obtained over many years of attending the annual International Sibelius Festival at Lahti, Finland. The photo of Sibelius and a piano comes from his visit to the house in which he was born in Hämeenlinna.
These photos are a collection taken by Justin Brooke in April 1948. He sent them to The Society in February 1998 with an extensive article on the background behind the photos. Justin was the Assistant Press Attaché in the British Delegation after the war. He received a phone call from Stefan Schimanski in April 1948 asking Justin to meet him the following day to catch the train to Järvenpää there to Sibelius’s home, Ainola. The photos were taken by Justin during the discussions that followed between Schimanski and Sibelius.
Schimanski was a reporter from the Manchester Guardian. The explanation as to how this meeting was arranged at a time when few if any visitors were allowed by the Sibelius family is vividly told in the article below.
In his letter to the society in 1998 he described himself as ‘probably the last English man alive to have met Sibelius’.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE LETTER AND ARTICLE
The colourisation has been added to enhance the exclusive nature of the photos.