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Niklas Pokki

– on piano, pianists and piano pedagogy

Tag / Piano Capital of Finland

The Youth Piano Academy: Boosting The Learning Environment

The Mänttä Music Festival 2014 ended last week with a wonderful Beethoven recital by Paul Lewis. Other highlights this year were the piano recitals by Anna Vinnitskaya and Laura Mikkola and the concert by Slawomir Zubrzycki with his Viola organista, a unique Renaissance instrument that he built over four years based on Leonardo da Vinci’s 500-year-old sketches.

One of the novelties at Mänttä was the collaboration concert of the Youth Piano Academy (YPA) and the Sibelius Academy’s junior department. Five youngsters gave stunning performances of an extremely demanding repertoire, including pieces such as Liszt´s Spanish Rhapsody, Vallee D’Obermann and many more. In addition, the summer session of the YPA took place during the festival, and the ten students took lessons with Juhani Lagerspetz, Jussi Siirala, and Risto-Matti Marin. Also the German hyper-virtuoso Severin von Eckardstein joined our faculty to give some lessons. Continue Reading

From Mänttä With Love

One of the annual highlights of my personal life, the Mänttä Music Festival, starts next Wednesday, August 6th.

The sun is shining and the beautiful little town seems to be prepared to become the Piano Capital of Finland next week.

It is hard to believe that this is already the festival’s 16th anniversary. It feels like we just started it! Much has changed over the years, though. The festival has developed into an international event, featuring world-class pianists as well as promising young artists. And, the festival will also be evolving this year. I am excited to see how this year’s festival turns out, since it has a new main stage and it starts a month later than in previous years.

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