Erik T. Tawaststjerna

Professor, SibA/Department of Piano, Accordion, Guitar, and Kantele

Erik T. Tawaststjerna began his musical education in Helsinki, took private lessons in Moscow from Genrietta Mirvis, and received a degree from the Vienna Music Academy, where he studied with Dieter Weber, as well as from New York’s Juilliard School, where his teacher was Sascha Gorodnitzki. He also holds a doctorate from New York University where he studied under the guidance of Eugene List. He has participated in master classes given by Wilhelm Kempff and Dmitri Bashkirov. He won the second prize at the Helsinki Maj Lind piano competition in 1968 and has since given concerts around the world. He played the first Finnish performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” in 1981. He has appeared as a soloist with all the important orchestras in Finland, performing, among other works, concertos No. 2 and No. 3 of Rachmaninoff and No. 1 of Tchaikovsky. In 1990 he was invited to give a performance for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Mr. Tawaststjerna has made numerous recordings, among them a series of 8 recordings of the complete piano music by Jean Sibelius on the BIS label. He has been teaching since 1982 at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he was appointed full professor of piano in 1986. Many of his students have received top prizes in international piano competitions, and two of them have advanced to a professor’s position at a university: Henri Sigfridsson in Essen, Germany, and Julia Mustonen-Dahlkvist in Arvika, Sweden. Mr. Tawaststjerna’s expertise has been called upon in the juries of several competitions, such as the International Beethoven Competition in Vienna, New York International Piano Competition, Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona, José Iturbi Competition in Valencia, Ciurlionis Competition in Vilnius, Axa Piano Competition in Dublin, Weimar Liszt Competition, Isang Yun Competition in South Korea, Zhuhai Mozart Competition, and the London International Piano Competition. He has given master classes, among other places, at the Guildhall School of Music in London, University of the Arts in Berlin, Tokyo College of Music, and at the Vienna University for Music. He was named Professor of the Year 2006 by the Finnish Professors’ League.