Pianist and Early Keyboard performer Michael Tsalka has won numerous prizes in Europe, the U.S.A., the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. Tsalka is a versatile musician, who performs solo and chamber music repertoire from the early Baroque era to our days. He was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel. After studies in Israel, Germany and Italy, he graduated in 2008 from Temple University (U.S.A) with a D.M.A. in Piano Performance and an M.M. in Early Keyboard Performance and Chamber Music. His mentors included Lambert Orkis, Joyce Lindorff, Harvey Wedeen, as well as Dario di Rosa, Klaus Schilde, Malcolm Bilson, David Shemer, and Charles Rosen.
Dr. Tsalka maintains a busy concert schedule, performing circa one hundred concerts a year worldwide. Recent engagements include the Forbidden City Hall in Beijing, Bellas Artes Theater in Mexico City, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, St. Denis Festival in Paris, Beethoven House in Bonn, Tokyo’s City Opera, the Winspear Centre in Edmonton, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Volksbuehne in Berlin, the Jerusalem Music Center, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the ElbPhilharmonie in Hamburg, plus live performances for radio and television stations around the globe (Chicago, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Munich, St. Petersburg, Beijing, Stockholm, Helsinki, Auckland, St. Louis, Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, London, Sydney).
Michael Tsalka is an avid promoter of chamber music. Recent ensembles he established include the Mediterranean Trio (violin-saxophone-piano), co-founding the VMAA chamber music soloists, a duo with mandolinist Alon Sariel, and the Filmharmonia Duo and Musica Curiosa Duo, together with organist and glass armonica virtuoso Dennis James. Together with musicologist Angelica Minero Escobar, he is preparing a critical edition of Daniel Gottlob Türk’s 30 keyboard sonatas for Artaria Editions in New Zealand (artaria.com). Additionally, eight of his scholarly articles have been published by music journals, including De Clavicordio (Italy), Piano Bulletin EPTA (Netherlands), Early Keyboard Journal and Early Music America (U.S.A.).
Michael Tsalka has recorded twenty-seven critically acclaimed CDs for labels such as NAXOS, Grand Piano (HK), Paladino (Vienna), Brilliant Classics (Amsterdam), IMI (Tel-Aviv), Sheva Collection (London), Wirripang (Sydney), and Ljud & Bild (Stockholm). In 2019, the Sheva Collection released his latest CD Bach in the White City, with mandolinist extraordinaire Alon Sariel. In Fall 2020, Grand Piano will release Mozartiana, a tribute to the famous composer, recorded on a historical pantalon and a tangentenfluegel from the Pooya Radbon Collection. This year NAXOS included his recording of Beethoven’s mandolin and fortepiano works for their Complete Beethoven Edition, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
He has performed as soloist with numerous orchestras, among them The Sydney Consort (Australia), the University of Birmingham Chamber Orchestra (U.K.), Temple University Chamber Orchestra (Philadelphia, U.S.A.), Krasnoyarsk Chamber Orchestra (Russia), Guatemala Symphony Orchestra, Musica Raritana (New Jersey, U.S.A.), Silvestre Revueltas Chamber Orchestra (Guanajuato, Mexico), St. Louis’ City Orchestra (U.S.A.), Hermitage Festival Orchestra (St. Petersburg, Russia), Saarbrucken Symphony Orchestra (Germany), Baroque Camerata (Kaohsiung, Taiwan), Filharmonica Orchestra (Manila, Philippines), and ThoroughBass (Sydney). Dr. Tsalka has also collaborated with important early music specialists such as Lambert Orkis, Cynthia Roberts, Peter Sykes, and Christopher Hogwood.
Dr. Tsalka often collaborates with composers: during the last two years, he has performed sixteen world premieres dedicated to him by composers of fourteen various nationalities. Overall, 55 composers have dedicated works to him. He has been the artistic director of multiple festivals in Mainland China, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, and Finland. From 2014 to 2020, he directed the Geelvinck International Fortepiano Festival in the Netherlands. From 2002-2008, he taught at the Esther Boyer College of Music in Philadelphia. From 2009-2014, he was a professor of harpsichord and chamber music at the Escuela Superior de Música, National Center for the Arts in Mexico City, and an instructor of early keyboards at Lilla Akademien, Stockholm.
In addition, Dr. Michael Tsalka has presented over 130 master classes in academic institutions in all continents. Currently, he heads the Keyboard Department at the Vanke Meisha Arts Academy in Shenzhen, China. He has also been artist-in-residence at the Nelson Center for Musical Arts in New Zealand (2018 and 2020), and a guest professor at Celaya Conservatory in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Dr. Tsalka’s students have been accepted in prestigious institutions, including the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the HDK in Berlin, Grieg Academy in Norway, and the Julliard School of Music. Several of his students have recently won first prizes at International Piano competitions, for example, the International Mozart Competition in Shenzhen and the Kingsburg International Piano Competition in Qingdao.