Ellen Simos

Year of birth:  2004

Home town:  Mikkeli

Home institution and teacher:  The East Helsinki Music Institute, Niklas Pokki

Began studying at the Youth Piano Academy Finland in 2015

1.  When did you start playing piano?

I began playing piano when I was six years old.

2.  What made you choose piano as your instrument? Does someone else in your family play an instrument?

Playing the piano has always fascinated me, and we have always had a piano at home. Classical music has been a part of my life from the day I was born. My little sister, mom and grandmother play the piano too. My great grandmother was a highly respected professional pianist.

3.  What does playing piano mean to you?

Playing and listening to piano music are important parts of my everyday life.

4.  What is the most important piece of music for you?

Sibelius’ Romance in D flat major is a very important piece to me, because my grandmother and great grandmother used to play it.

5. Your three most important performances:

St. Michel Strings’ soloist 2013.
ECMTA ( European Chamber Music Teacher Association) 2013, Savonlinna  
TV 7 appearance at the Espoo Cultural Centre 2015

6.  What does the Youth Piano Academy mean to you? How does it feel to be part of the Youth Piano Academy?

The whole process of preparing for the Youth Piano Academy audition was one of the biggest challenges of my life. Being accepted was a dream come true for me. The YPA has given me many great experiences.

7.  How has the Youth Piano Academy changed your way of playing?

In addition to piano lessons, one learns a lot about music just by listening to others. I get really inspired and motivated when I hear the other students’ playing.

8.  Tell about your most memorable master class at the Youth Piano Academy.

The most unforgettable piano lesson was Matti Raekallios’s lesson in Mänttä. It was my first lesson at the Youth Piano Academy and I was quite nervous. I think Raekallio was really nice and it was really funny that he spoke German to me after noticing that I had markings in German on my note sheets. Another memorable lesson was Antti Hotti’s lesson in Turku. I really enjoyed that lesson.

9.  What is your best memory about the Youth Piano Academy?

I think the Youth Piano Academy period which was arranged at the same time as the Mänttä Music Festival was the best of all. Especially “The Mystery of Huhkojärvi” -puzzle was great!

10.  What is your biggest music-related dream?

I look forward to someday playing my own piano compositions in concert.

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