Could there be a legit Sibelius cello in Adelaide?

Published On: Fri 08 February



Ahead of our tour HAYDN WINKELMAN SIBELIUS, this fascinating story has been brought to our attention.

If anyone can shed more light on this, we’d love to know!

What we know:

Jean Sibelius had a brother named Christian, a neurologist, psychiatrist, amateur cellist.

Christian had a grandson, Emeritus Anders Gustaf Wangel (1934 – 2013), whose mother Rita was Christian’s daughter. During his youth, Anders played chamber music with Rita, Jean Sibelius’ daughter Margareta, and sometimes her daughter (Anders’ cousin) Salu.

Anders Wangel, image courtesy of South Australian Medical Heritage Society Inc, website for the Virtual Museum.
Anders Wangel, image courtesy of South Australian Medical Heritage Society Inc, website for the Virtual Museum.

Anders’ family would often visit Jean Sibelius at his home in Järvenpää, Finland.

When Jean Sibelius died, Anders inherited the composer’s father’s cello.

In 1952, Anders met Australian runner Denise Norton at the Olympic Games in Helsinki and four years later, they married. Anders agreed to come to Australia and in 1968, was appointed the Michell Professor of Medicine at the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide.

In Adelaide, Anders continued to play his cello in the Burnside and Australian Doctors’ Orchestra.

What we don’t know…

Was this the cello that Anders inherited from his grandfather’s brother, Jean Sibelius?

Does this cello still reside somewhere here in Adelaide, Australia?

Top image by Jacqui Way