Prof. Erik Thomas Tawaststjerna
Erik T. Tawaststjerna (“Ta-va-sher-na”) began his musical education in Helsinki, took private lessons in Moscow from Genrietta Mirvis, and graduated 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 national 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 major orchestras in Finland. 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 several of them have advanced to a professor’s position at a university, for example 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 Van Cliburn Competition in Fort Worth, the Dublin Piano Competition, the International Beethoven Competition in Vienna, London International Piano Competition, the Hilton Head Piano Competition, New York International Piano Competition, Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona, Weimar Liszt Competition, José Iturbi Competition in Valencia, Isang Yun Competition in South Korea, Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Ciurlionis and Vainiunas Competitions in Vilnius, and the Mozart Competition in Zhuhai, China. 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” in 2006 by the Finnish Professors’ League.