Early keyboard performer and concert pianist 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 110 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, the Shangyin Opera House in Shanghai, the Shenzhen Concert Hall in Shenzhen, plus live performances for radio/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, and a duo with mandolinist Alon Sariel. 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/Milano), Wirripang (Sydney), and Ljud & Bild (Stockholm). In November 2020, Grand Piano/Naxos released Mozartiana, a tribute to the famous composer, recorded on a historical pantalon and a tangentenfluegel from the Pooya Radbon Collection. In early 2021, NAXOS included his/Alon Sariel's recording of Beethoven’s mandolin and fortepiano works for their Complete Beethoven Edition.
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), Saarbruecken 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: Overall, 55 composers (from 18 countries) have dedicated works to him. He has been the artistic director of multiple festivals in Mainland China, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, and Finland. From 2014-2020, he directed the Geelvinck 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 taught early keyboards at Lilla Akademien, Stockholm.
In addition, Dr. Michael Tsalka has presented over 140 master classes in academic institutions in all continents. Currently, he heads the Keyboard Department at the Vanke Meisha Arts Academy in Shenzhen, China, and the Chair of the VMAA Performing Arts Department. He has been artist-in-residence at the Nelson Center for Musical Arts in NZ (2018, 2020).
Dr. Tsalka’s students have been accepted to many prestigious institutions: including the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the HDK in Berlin, Grieg Academy in Norway, and the Julliard School of Music. His students have recently won first prizes at International Piano competitions: International Mozart Competition in Shenzhen, the Kingsburg International Piano Competition in Qingdao, and the Vivace International Piano Competition in Shanghai.