Pianist Kristian Attila, artistic director of the Savonlinna Music Academy, is one of the most highlydistinguished Finnish pianists and teachers in the field of Lied and opera. He is principally employed as aLecturer of Voice at the Sibelius Academy. For more than 20 years, he has performed with prominentFinnish singers such as Tommi Hakala, Juha Uusitalo, Jorma Hynninen, Ritva Auvinen, Petri Lindroos,Päivi Nisula, Marjukka Tepponen, Jaakko Kortekangas and Pia Freund. He has appeared in numerous European countries and in Japan, northern Africa, the USA and Canada. In Finland, he has appeared in the Finnish National Opera concert series and at several music festivals (the Savonlinna Opera Festival, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the Turku Music Festival, the Organ Night and Aria Festival, the Iitti Music Festival, etc.).
Kristian Attila studied with Margit Rahkonen at the Sibelius Academy and with Hans Pålsson at the Malmö Academy of Music, completing his A examination in piano at the Sibelius Academy in 1995. In 1993–1994, he studied with Ian Reid at the opera studio of the Finnish National Opera. He has also studied composition with Kalevi Aho and Olli Kortekangas. Kristian Attila has been the official pianist at several national and international singing competitions (Lappeenranta, Mustakallio, Kangasniemi, Mirjam Helinand the Sibelius Singing Competition in Jyväskylä). He accompanied Tommi Hakala at the BBC Singer of the World competition in Cardiff, where Hakala won 1st prize in 2003, and has accompanied numerous masterclasses given by Tom Krause, James King, Barbara Bonney and, on a regular basis, Dorothy Irving.He was on the jury of the international Jean Sibelius Singing Competition in Järvenpää in October 2007.
Kristian Attila has worked as a repetiteur at the Savonlinna Opera Festival, in France and Italy and atthe Finnish National Opera. He has several recordings to his credit, including an album of solo songs byToivo Kuula,Tule armaani (Ondine), with Tommi Hakala and an album of solo songs by Sibelius, Norden (Alba) with Pia Freund and Tommi Hakala. He has also made numerous recordings for the Finnish Broadcasting Company. He has been the pianist-conductor in chamber opera productions (e.g. IlkkaKuusisto’s operas Vapauden vanki [Prisoner of freedom] (DVD 2009) and Nainen kuin jäätynyt samppanja [A woman like frozen champagne] (DVD 2011)).
Kristian Attila has been a guest teacher for instance in Cairo with director Eija Tolpo (the Musical Bridge of the Savonlinna Music Academy) and at the Universities of Texas and Michigan in the USA. He has written piano pieces and chamber music, and he has given opera improvisation courses. He was a member of the working group that edited hitherto unpublished solo songs by Yrjö Kilpinen on a grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation. He himself has received grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the Pro Musica Foundation and the Wihuri Foundation.