With us in 2014
Born in Helsinki, Finland, Marja Kaisla began piano studies at age three and made her public debut at five. As a chamber musician, recitalist, and concerto soloist, she has performed in Europe, the former Soviet Union, and the United States.
Miss Kaisla received her musical education in piano performance at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia, in Switzerland with György Sebök, and Philadelphia with Susan Starr.
Since moving to the United States in 1987 she has enjoyed an active concert career on stage, radio, television and major motion pictures while being an advocate for the importance of music education and general education reforms in the US school system.
She was the owner and director of the Delaware Valley Conservatory of Music for over ten years, and she is the co-founder of the Philadelphia Foundation for World Music and Arts, a non-profit organization, which advocates education, culture, and tolerance between people through music and arts. For several years she was also the owner of Delaware Valley Music, a sheet music retail store with two locations in Philadelphia.
She is currently the Development and Fundraising Director for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra.
She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2005 as the pianist of Trio Excelsior, with whom she has toured extensively around the United States. She was also a member of a unique quartet of four pianos, Piano4, with whom she performed over a hundred concerts during two seasons.
In 2013 Miss Kaisla spearheaded and implemented numerous cultural, educational and business events in the tri-state area for the celebration of the 375th Anniversary of the Finns' and Swedes' settlement of the Delaware Valley in 1638. She was recently awarded the Commemorative Medal of the Centennial of the Parliament of Finland for her work promoting Finnish and Nordic culture.
She was awarded the Performer of the Year 2013 title by the Finlandia Foundation National, the largest advocacy organization in the US promoting Finnish culture and Finnish American artists' work. Due to high demand for her performances, her title was extended to 2014 as well.
The Ambassador of Finland to the US recently appointed Marja Kaisla to a task force to work with her in mapping out sectors in the US, in which Finland can influence educational reforms and export Finnish educational know-how into the US.
Miss Kaisla is a recording artist, and she appears as a pianist in the M. Night Shyamalan film, The Village.