Liisa Smolander

Year of birth:  2001

Home town:  Oulu

Home institution and teacher: Helsinki Conservatory, Antti Hotti

Began studying at the Youth Piano Academy Finland in 2013

1.  When did you start playing piano? 4 years old.

2.  What made you choose piano as your instrument? Does someone else in your family play an instrument? We have a grand piano at home, and my mother is a professional pianist. My dad plays the violin and viola and my three little brothers play the cello, piano and violin.

3.  What does playing piano mean to you? It’s an important part of my life.

4.  What is the most important piece of music for you? Sibelius: Romance D-flat major, Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2, Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

5.  Your three most important performances: Madetoja competitions in 2009, 2012 and 2015, Oulu Conservatory concert trip in Tarto, Estonia in 2013 and playing as a soloist of the Festivo Symphony Orchestra in November, 2015.

6.  What does the Youth Piano Academy mean to you? How does it feel to be part of the Youth Piano Academy? Lots of good friends and good education.

7.  How has the Youth Piano Academy changed your way of playing? It motivates me to learn even more.

8.  Tell about your most memorable master class at the Youth Piano Academy. Henri Sigfridsson’s lesson in October 2015. I learned much about practicing and listening to the nuances in Debussy’s L’isle Joyeuse.

9.  What is your best memory about the Youth Piano Academy? Summer master class in Mänttä 2015.

10.  What is your biggest music-related dream?  To be able to work as a musician in the future.