“Liszt Memorial Prizes” Hong Kong International Piano Open Competition-Artistic Director
Dr.h.c. Arbo VALDMA is now professor of piano at the University of Music in Cologne (Germany). He received his musical education at the Music Academy in Tallinn (Estonia) under Bruno Lukk (himself a student of Arthur Schnabel and Paul Hindemith) and later with Nina Emelyanova (a former student of Samuel Feinberg) at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow (Master and Doctorate degrees).
In 1970 he was appointed Professor of Piano for advanced students at the State Conservatory of Tallinn and, from 1979, worked as Professor of Piano at the Music Academy of Novi Sad (former Yugoslavia). From 1984 to 1992, Dr. Valdma was Head of the Piano Department at the University of Belgrade. From 1989 to 1992, he was also Dean of the Piano Faculty at the Academy of Arts at the University of Novi Sad. Since 1992, Dr. Valdma has been the professor of piano at the University of Music in Cologne.
Arbo Valdma has performed as a soloist throughout Europe and Australia and with orchestras under the direction of conductors such as N. Järvi, K. Sanderling, E. Klas. A. Janson and A. Rabinowitsch, O. Danon, N. Debelic, I. Drazinic, A. Nanut, P. Despalj, A. Kolar, as well as chamber music with, among others, Fern Raskovic (violin) and Walter Despalj (violoncello).
Since 1984, Arbo Valdma has given more than 120 masterclasses around the world in cities such as Moscow, Rome, Thessaloniki, Athens, Calgary, Tokyo, Montepulciano, Ohrid, Subotica, Belgrade, Zagreb, Novi Sad, Ljubljana, Kaushiung, Dubrovnik, Bad Sobernheim, Cologne, Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Sendai, etc. Each year he gives Masterclasses in Tallin, Heidelberg, Chateau Podsreda (Slovenia) and at Haus Marteau (Bayreuth). He has also appeared in arts festivals in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, etc. In 2000, he was invited to teach a masterclass at London’s Guildhall School of Music.
Dr. Valdma started the first master class under his own name in the residence of the renowned Swiss composer Paul Hindmith. In Liechtenstein, he once presented a master class, which was organised by the Youth & Music Foundation there, on the lines and curves and body language in piano music.
In 2008, he was appointed to chair the Unieffectus e.V.Society for Cultural and Pedagogic Exchange in Cologne.
Arbo Valdma is a founding member of EPTA (European Piano Teachers Association) Yugoslavia (established in 1988), Honorary President of EPTA Serbia and an Honorary Member of EPTA Estonia. In 1991, the Estonian Academy of Music awarded him the prize of Doctor honoris causa. Arbo Valdma is a frequent member in the jury in such competitions as the Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn and the Belgrade International Piano Competition. His students have won numerous prizes at the most prestigious international piano competitions: Brussels (Queen Elisabeth), Vienna (Beethoven), Vevey (Clara Haskil), Cologne (F. Chopin), Epinal, Geneva, Lausanne, Leeds, Munich, Sydney, Vercelli, Washington and others).
Arbo Valdma has produced numerous television and radio programmes, as both writer and director, in which his students are playing music in something of an extraordinary manner. The lectures given by Arbo Valdma as part of international symposiums, as well as his published articles on piano pedagogy, have received worldwide acclaim.
Arbo Valdma is considered to be one of the greatest piano pedagogues in the world today.