Järvenpää is a dynamic, upbeat city of around 43,000 inhabitants beside Lake Tuusula in Southern Finland. Helsinki, the Finnish capital, can be reached in half an hour by rail or motorway, as can Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport.
The name of Järvenpää is known beyond Finland’s borders, too, for it was once the home of composer Jean Sibelius. His house, Ainola, is now an authentic home museum. In the late 19th and early 20th century, an artist community grew up around Lake Tuusula that laid the foundations for the arts in Finland today. Culture is still an integral element of Järvenpää, including such annual musical and other arts events as Puistoblues and Our Festival, and Järvenpää Hall hosts a wide range of concerts and other happenings.
Opened in 1987, Järvenpää Hall is a first-class cultural, conference and congress centre. It is located in the very heart of the city, beside the railway station.
The 567-seat Sibelius Hall at Järvenpää Hall has excellent acoustics, quality lighting, sound reproduction and audio-visual equipment and a Steinway grand piano. It is the scene of concerts, performing arts, training sessions, congresses and other events and is widely used for recording classical music.
The Juhani Aho Hall is a chamber music hall with a balcony, around 160 movable seats and a Yamaha C7 grand piano. It is used for meetings, seminars and corporate occasions in addition to arts events.
Järvenpää Hall also has a lunch restaurant, several meeting rooms, a foyer Gallery (Järnätti) that puts on temporary exhibitions and an intimate Cellar Theatre – home of Järvenpää Theatre.
Järvenpää culture spots and the Lake Tuusula artists
In 1897, Juhani Aho the writer and his painter wife Venny Soldan-Brofeldt moved to Ahola, their house on Lake Tuusula. An artist community grew up as others settled in the neighbourhood, among them painters Eero Järnefelt and Pekka Halonen, composer Jean Sibelius and their families.
Their homes are nowadays open to the public as museums: Ahola, Ainola and the Järnefelts’ Suviranta from May to September, Pekka Halonen’s Halosenniemi all year round. Järvenpää Art Museum next door to Järvenpää Hall also puts on temporary exhibitions, often related to the Lake Tuusula artists. The Art Museum’s own collection consists of work by Eero Järnefelt and Venny Soldan-Brofeldt.
Also open to visitors is the home, Villa Kokkonen, designed by Alvar Aalto for a member of a more recent generation, Joonas Kokkonen the composer. Guided tours and concerts are held at the Villa Kokkonen.
The Kallio-Kuninkala estate in the same neighbourhood as Ainola, Ahola and Suviranta used to be owned by the Paloheimo industrialist family. The current look of the buildings dates back to the 1920s. The Paloheimos were connected with the artist community through marriage: Sibelius, Järnefelt and Halonen girls married Paloheimo boys.
Kallio-Kuninkala has been owned since 1975 by the Leonora and Yrjö Paloheimo Foundation dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the golden artist-community era. It does this by creating and maintaining facilities primarily for training young musicians. Operating at Kallio-Kuninkala since 1987 has been the Sibelius Academy Music Centre, nowadays at the disposal of the entire University of the Arts Helsinki. Numerous concerts, training and other events are held at Kallio-Kuninkala, and there are a number of nearby buildings suitable for events, teaching and recording. Accommodation and meals can also be provided.