Heidi Blomstedt (1911-1982)
The daughters of Jean Sibelius in the 1940s. Katarina Ilves (on the left), Eva Paloheimo, Heidi Blomstedt, Ruth Snellman and Margareta Jalas.
Heidi was born in Ainola in June 1911, seven years after the family had moved there. Her first weeks were spent with her mother in the sauna of Ainola, as the house was being renovated and the upper floor made habitable.
Heidi, too, started her studies at Ainola, when her big sister Katarina tried to teach her to read. Her studies were continued under her mother, Aino. On a visit to Ainola the poet Eino Leino was shocked at Aino's "cruelty" when she was teaching her daughter the names of the lake and river systems of Finland. But Heidi herself thought that her parents had pampered her because she was the youngest of the children.
Heidi started school in Helsinki, going straight into the fourth form in the autumn of 1924. Later she went on to study design at the Ateneum School of Art.
In the summer of 1929, at the wedding of her sister Margareta, Heidi danced with Aulis Blomstedt, the brother of the bridegroom. "Those two seem likely to become a couple," the sisters whispered. The wedding was in March 1932. Three years later the architect Aulis Blomstedt converted the nursery of Ainola into a library.
Heidi's connections with Ainola remained as close as those of her elder sisters. From her home in Munkkiniemi in Helsinki she and her family often made visits to Ainola, and after Sibelius's death Heidi took turns with her sisters so that her mother Aino never had to depend solely on the help of the servants.
Read Heidi Blomstedt's Memories of Ainola