Valeria Resjan


Pianist


Valeria Resian began her piano studies in Russia. She moved to Finland with her parents in 1990 and continued her studies at the Sibelius Academy with Hamsa Al-Wadi Juris. She also studied chamber music with Ralph Gothoni. In 1996-97, she studied at the Reina Sofía High Music School with Dmitri Bashkirov.

In 1992 Valeria Resjan won the National Maj Lind Piano Competition together with Laura Mikkola. In 1995 she won the International Pilar Bayona Competition in Zaragoza, Spain. In 1996 she was awarded with the fourth prize at the International Piano Competition of Montreal, where she was also granted the special prize as the favourite of the audience.

Valeria Resjan has performed as a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestra soloist. She is collaborating actively with such internationally renowned musicians as Ola Karlsson, Marko Ylönen, Jan-Erik Gustafsson, Hagai Shaham, Elina Vähälä, and also Takacs, Chillingirian and Michelangelo quartets as her chamber music partners. She has played with such conductors as Okko Kamu, William Boughton, Jorma Panula, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Osmo Vänskä and Sakari Oramo. She has given concerts in Norway, Russia, Japan, China, Spain, Canada and Emirates. In Finland, she has made appearances in many music festivals, including the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Turku and Mikkeli Music Festivals, Espoo Piano Festival and the Helsinki Festival.

Since year 2004, she has been performing regularly with Pietari Inkinen and Tuomas Ylinen. This trio has recorded Tchaikovsky and Sibelius music and had a concert in the Wigmore Hall of London in 2007.

Valeria Resian has been awarded a scholarship by the Finnish Culture Fund thrice.

Nowadays, she is piano teacher and accompanist at the Helsinki High School of Music (Metropolia University).

Martin Malmgren


Pianist


Pianist Martin Malmgren has made himself known as a versatile performer, equally at home on stage as a soloist, chamber musician and lied pianist. With an unusually wide repertoire ranging from early baroque up until the music of our times, he takes delight in surprising his audiences by performing unjustly neglected works and composers. He has founded the piano recital series Key Discoveries, and more recently he co-founded the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, together with conductor James Kahane and violinist-conductor Aku Sorensen. This spring he is releasing a CD with works for violin and piano by Fredrik Pacius, Robert Kajanus and Jean Sibelius together with violinist Sebastian Silén.

As a sought-after soloist, he has appeared with such orchestras as Sinfonia Lahti, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Belgrade Symphony, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Toruń Philharmonic Orchestra, Oulu Sinfonia, Jyväskylä Sinfonia and numerous others. The interest in lesser-heard works has led to multiple performances of unjustly neglected works including Prokofiev’s 5th piano concerto, Hindemith’s Kammermusik op 36 nr 1, Schumann’s Konzertstück and Rachmaninoff’s 1st piano concerto, as well as the Finnish premieres of Elliott Carter’s “Dialogues 2”, Guillaume Connesson’s Concertino and Doreen Carwithen’s Piano concerto. He has performed extensively throughout Europe, USA, Australia and Israel. Among other concert projects he has performed the complete Mazurkas by Karol Szymanowski and all Études by Claude Debussy

Martin holds a Bachelor of Music from Edsberg Manor/Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, and continued his studies by pursuing a Master’s degree at the Sibelius Academy, with Ilmo Ranta as his main piano teacher. Other important teachers have included Konstantin Bogino, Jerome Lowenthal, Liisa Pohjola, Staffan Scheja, Tuija Hakkila and Juhani Lagerspetz.

Mariko Furukawa


Pianist


Japanese pianist Mariko Furukawa is a prize winner of prestigious competitions, such as Porto International Piano Competition (Portugal), Grand Prix for the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau (France), First Prize at Dorothey MacKenzie Competition (US), First Prize in the All Japan Piano Competition, First Prize at Mannes Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance at Lincoln Center, Third Prize at The Chopin Competition in Asia, and Third Prize at The Japan Chopin Piano Competition. During 15th International Chopin Competition, her performance of Ballade No.4 was chosen by Polish National Radio, and broadcast repeatedly on multiple occasions.

Mariko has also been an active chamber musician, and she has collaborated with such renowned musicians as The Orion String Quartet, Charles Neidich, Anthony McGill and Jasmine Choi. In 2012, she was awarded a special prize in All Japan Music Competition for her outstanding performance as a collaborative pianist. She has been an official pianist to music festivals and competitions such as Aspen Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, Kita- Karuizawa Music Festival, and International Jacques Lancelot clarinet competition.

She obtains her masters degree from The Juilliard School and bachelor degree from Mannes College of Music. In 2019, she moved to Helsinki, and joined Sibelius Academy at University of Arts Helsinki as a full-time faculty.

Piia Komsi


Soprano Coloratura


Piia Komsi is known for her exceptionally high and flexible voice and virtuoso technique. She is a successful international performer of baroque, classical and contemporary repertoire – not only in opera and orchestral music, but also chamber music and lied. Piia Komsi has been a muse to many contemporary composers. In May of 2017, Komsi made her successful debut with the New York Philharmonic in Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Wing on Wing .

Piia Komsi’s breakthrough was as the Maid in Thomas Adès’ opera Powder Her Face . Her operatic roles have included Martha in Le Malentendu by Panisello, Gepopo and Venus in Le Grand Macabre by Ligeti, the Duchesse de Guise in the Massacre by Mitterer, Pamina and Queen of the Night ( Magic Flute ), Brünnhilde (Wagner/Jonathan Dove: Ring Saga ), Medea (Pascal Dusapin: Medeamaterial ), The Cat (Chin: Alice in Wonderland ), and the cello-playing daughter ( Heinz-Juhani Hofmann: Ahti Karjalainen ), among others. Piia Komsi has been engaged by major opera houses including the Bologna Teatro Comunale, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, The Finnish National Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper München, Théatre et Musique Paris, San Carlo Teatro Napoli, Teatro Olimpico Rome, and several free opera groups in Finland

Piia Komsi has a strong background in early church music, singing with her twin sister Anu Komsi in the children’s choir of the Kokkola Church, and continuing throughout her professional career – first as a continuo cellist and then as a soprano soloist.

As a soloist Piia Komsi has performed with numerous orchestras: New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC London and BBC Wales National, Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchester, London Sinfonietta, L’Ensemble Intercontemporain, Philharmonique Orchestre de Radio France, Ensemble Modern, Oslo Philharmonic, Stockholm Royal Philharmonic, Gulbenkian Orch., Gothenburg Symphony, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Musica, Remix, MDR Leipzig, NDR Hamburg, Köln Musik Fabrik, Elision, Finnish orchestras including early music and new music orchestras. She has worked with many of today’s leading conductors, such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Alan Gilbert, Peter Eötvös, Kent Nagano, Sakari Oramo, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Francois-Xavier Roth and Peter Rundel. Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Wing on Wing was composed to Piia Komsi and her twin sister Anu, and it has since been in the repertoire of many international concert venues.

With her background as a cellist (she was a member of the Finnish National Orchestra until 2001), Piia Komsi’s latest challenge is to sing while simultaneously playing the cello. Several composers have already written new pieces for her unique soprano coloratura-cellist combination.

Piia Komsi’s recordings include Solaris (Naxos/Proprius, chosen for the best art CD of the year 2012 by Kotimaa), Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Wing on Wing (Deutsche Grammophon), Akrostichon Wortspiel by Unsuk Chin (Deutsche Grammophon), From the Grammar of Dreams by Kaija Saariaho (Ondine, chosen as the best CD of the year-prize in YLE), Procris by Wennäkoski (Alba, Emma-Prize 2008), Opera Mothers and Daughters by Tuomela (Aulos), Alice in Wonderland by Unsuk Chin (DVD, 2007), Ahti Karjalainen – elämä, Kekkonen ja teot by Heinz-Juhani Hofmann ( Alba 2015).

The full operatic and repertoire list is available at piiakomsi.com

Piia Komsi on Youtube

Tara Valkonen


Composer


Tara Jovana Valkonen (b.1999) is a Finnish musician studying composition and cello at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki under the guidance of Lauri Kilpiö and Jaani Helander. At the age of 13 she picked up the guitar, and rock music (bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, the Velvet Underground and Dire Straits) supplanted classical music at large, until a few years later when she first heard Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony and developed an interest in contemporary music. Since then she has taken composition lessons and attended masterclasses with Chaya Czernowin, Minna Leinonen, Dusan Bavdek, Magnus Lindberg, and Ville Raasakka among others.

Still, the most influential teacher since she started playing the cello at the age of six has been her mother, Jovanka Trbojevic. Among composing and playing the cello, Tara composes and writes rock music for her rock-pop-funk-folk duo Tara I Kajsa, with which she performs regularly as a guitarist and vocalist.

Alisson Kruusmaa


Composers


In June 2017, Alisson Kruusmaa (1992) graduated from the composition class of Helena Tulve. She holds both Bachelor and Master of Arts Diploma from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (cum laude). In the semester of 2013/2014, she amended herself at the Conservatorio di Musica di Giuseppe Verdi di Milano, under the instruction of Professor Alessandro Solbiati. Alisson Kruusmaa has written music for symphony orchestras, ensembles and choirs as well as soloists. Her music is best described through ethereal, fragile and spacious soundscapes featuring a delicate and sparse orchestration. In 2013, she was awarded Erkki-Sven Tüür Young Composer’s Scholarship.

In 2018, Kruusmaa was selected to participate at the 24th Young Composers Meeting by the world-renowned contemporary ensemble Orkest de Ereprijs where her Rain for mezzo soprano and orchestra won the Best Composition Prize and was in the programme of Gaudeamus Muziekweek in Utrecht in the same year. In 2019, Kruusmaa was the guest composer of the Mise-En Festival in New York. Recently, she was commissioned a new work for chamber choir and symphony orchestra by the Grammy Award winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, Kruusmaa will also take part in Andriessen Festival in the Netherlands where her most recent work “… and the great winds come and go” will receive its premiere.

Further information https://alissonkruusmaa.com https://soundcloud.com/alissonkruusmaa https://emic.ee/alisson-kruusmaa