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Niklas Pokki

– on piano, pianists and piano pedagogy

Tag / Sibelius Academy

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

Let’s talk more about piano practice!

I just came back home from Seinäjoki, where I gave a lecture on piano practice at the Sibelius Academy training centre. One of my former teachers, a current friend and colleague, Teppo Koivisto, was giving his annual master class and was kind enough to invite me to speak to his students.

In the heat of summer — it has been unusually hot in Finland lately — we had a delightful session. The students made clever comments, asked informed questions, and, afterwards, the discussion went on with Teppo at a local restaurant.

After speaking with Teppo´s class, I contemplated what it was that made me devote myself to giving lectures on piano practice about ten years ago?  Continue Reading