Tuula Hällström (1978-) is one of the few Finnish lieder pianists of her generation. She currently collaborates with several singers in concerts, master-classes, operas and vocal competitions. She also won a competition for lieder pianists in Pieksämäki, Finland, in 1999.
In the spring of 2003, Tuula Hällström received her piano diploma with honours from the Sibelius Academy. Her piano teachers include Professor Erik Werner Tawaststjerna and Collin Hansen. She also studied lieder with Gustav Djupsjöbacka, Ilmo Ranta, and Eero Heinonen.
Tuula Hällström also enjoys a successful career in chamber music. She won the Juvenalia Chamber Music Competition in 1995 with the violinist Anna Kahanpää, and they played in the finals of the Kuhmo Duo Competition in 1998. She won 2nd prize at the Ilmari Hannikainen Piano Competition in 1996, and she also won an award at the Helmi Vesa Competition in 1999.
Tuula Hällström has given recitals in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Great Britain, Japan and the USA.
Finnish bass Markus Suihkonen (1993-) began his singing studies two years ago at the Sibelius Academy with Professors Petteri Salomaa and Jaakko Ryhänen. He has also studied with Mika Kares and participated in master-classes conducted by Martin Katz and Dorothy Irving.
In 2015 Suihkonen won 1st prize at the national Timo Mustakallio Singing Competition for young singers and was awarded a scholarship from the Martti Talvela Foundation.
Suihkonen made his stage debut in the spring of 2014 as Colline in La bohème at the University of the Arts in Helsinki. He has also sung with the Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir. Suihkonen made his debut at the Finnish National Opera in autumn 2015 in two minor roles in Shostakovich’s The Nose.
Suihkonen has also performed with many Finnish chamber orchestras as a concert and oratorio soloist. Future engagements include forthcoming performances at summer festivals including the Savonlinna Opera Festival.