The Loviisa Sibelius Festival


Pianist Kristian Attila, artistic director of the Savonlinna International Music Academy, is one of the most appreciated pianists and teachers in the field of Lied and opera in Finland. He is principally employed as a Lecturer of Vocal coaching at the Sibelius Academy. For more than 20 years, he has performed with prominent singers such as Tommi Hakala, Juha Uusitalo, Pia Freund, Jorma Hynninen, Ritva Auvinen, Gitta-Maria Sjöberg, Essi Luttinen, Marjukka Tepponen, Petri Lindroos and Jaakko Kortekangas and Gala El Hadidi. He has appeared widely in Europe and in Japan, the USA, Canada, Tunisia and Egypt. In Finland, he has appeared in the Finnish National Opera concert series and at the major music festivals (Savonlinna, Kuhmo, Turku etc.)

Kristian Attila studied with Margit Rahkonen at the Sibelius Academy and with Hans Pålsson at the Malmo Academy of Music, graduating in 1998. In 1993-1994, he studied with Ian Reid at the Opera studio of the Finnish National Opera. He has also studied composition with Kalevi Aho and Olli Kortekangas. Kristian Attila has since 2002 been the official pianist at numerous national and international singing competitions (Mirjam Helin, Sibelius competition etc.). He collaborated with baritone Tommi Hakala at the BBC Singer of the world competition in Cardiff, where Hakala won 1st prize in 2003, and has regularly collaborated at masterclasses together with Tom Krause, James King, Barbara Bonney and, on a regular basis, Dorothy Irving (1927-2018), and has given masterclasses by himself. He was also on the Jury of the international Sibelius Singing competition in Järvenpää in October 2007.

Kristian Attila has worked as a correpetitor in the productions of the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland, Italy and France, and at the Finnish National Opera. He has several recordings to his credit, including a CD of Toivo Kuula’s songs ”Tule, armaani” (Ondine), a CD of solo songs by Sibelius ”Norden” (Alba) and a CD of songs by Kilpinen. He has also made recordings for the Finnish Broadcasting Company and performed as pianist-conductor in chamber opera productions both in live performances and on DVDs.

Kristian Attila has been a guest teacher in Nordic countries, in Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt (the Musical Bridge of the Savonlinna Music Academy) and at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan in the USA. He has composed piano pieces, chamber music and songs. He was a member of the team that edited hitherto unpublished songs by Yrjö Kilpinen on a grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Individually he has received grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Arts promotion Centre Finland, the Pro Musica Foundation and the Wihuri Foundation.