ARIA award-winning soloist, broadcaster and music director, Tamara-Anna Cislowska is one of Australia’s most recognised pianists, performing in Australia and worldwide to critical and public acclaim. Tamara has won international prizes in London, Italy and Greece, including the Rovere d’Oro, and in Australia, awards such as ABC Young Performer of the Year, the Freedman Fellowship from the Music Council of Australia, the 2012 Art Music Award for ‘Performance of the Year’ (ACT) and the 2015 ARIA for ‘Best Classical Album’ with her landmark recording of the complete piano works of Peter Sculthorpe.
A prolific recording artist with six ARIA no.1 albums, her solo CD for ABC Classics with music by Elena Kats-Chernin, Unsent Love Letters: meditations on Erik Satie, is available on Deutsche Grammophon worldwide outside Australia and New Zealand and was nominated for a 2017 ARIA award for ‘Best Classical Album’. A regular presenter on ABC Classic FM radio with her program, DUET, Tamara also edits for Boosey & Hawkes (Berlin).
Tamara is a frequent guest of orchestras and festivals in Europe, America and Australasia, including as soloist with the London Philharmonic, the New Zealand Symphony, and all the Australian Symphony Orchestras with conductors such as Matthias Bamert, Edo de Waart, Asher Fisch, Johannes Fritzsch, Christopher Hogwood, James Judd, Markus Stenz, and Yaron Traub.
2018 engagements include soloist performances with the Queensland, Tasmanian and Canberra Symphony Orchestras – including concerti by Prokofiev, Gorecki and the world premiere of Elena Kats-Chernin’s third piano concerto, Lebewohl – with conductors Karina Canellakis, Alondra de la Parra and Johnannes Fritzsch.
Tamara also performs as soloist with The Metropolitan Orchestra (Shostakovich); at Brisbane Festival with internationally acclaimed CIRCA for En Masse (Stravinsky, Schubert); for Dark MOFO (Messiaen); with double bassist Kees Boersma and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Newcastle Music Festival, Four Winds Festival; as Music Director and performer in the Joan’s 8 Grands concert spectacular, for the Australian World Orchestra Chamber Ensemble, and regional touring for Musica Viva.
Other recent engagements include as Music Director for Elena Kats-Chernin’s Birthday Bash concert (2017) presented by City Recital Hall (Sydney); recording and touring nationally as soloist for the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Mountain project that premiered at Sydney Film Festival; performances at Dark MOFO, Darwin Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre. She also toured extensively with Elena Kats-Chernin, for their two albums, Butterflying, and Unsent Love Letters: meditations on Erik Satie (ABC Classics), the latter nominated for a 2017 ARIA award for ‘Best Classical Album’ and available worldwide on Deutsche Grammophon. Recent soloist engagements include with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (Rachmaninov), Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (Liszt), Sydney Symphony (Mozart) and Queensland Symphony Orchestras (Rachmaninov and Mozart), and Sydney Youth Orchestra (Britten).
Highly sought-after for chamber collaborations, Tamara was a founding member of Berlin’s Mozart Piano Quartet, touring North and South America in this ensemble. She has toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and performed as recitalist in London’s Purcell Room, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, New York’s Frick Collection, and the Sydney Opera House. She is a frequent guest of festivals, including such as Pierre Cardin’s Festival de Lacoste, the Kurt Weill Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Canberra International Music Festival, MONA FOMA, Darwin, Fremantle and Perth International Arts Festivals, Musica Viva’s Huntington Festival and Soundstream: Adelaide New Music Festival.
“Australian piano gold” – BBC Music Magazine
Tamara has recorded for Chandos, Naxos, ABC Classics, Tall Poppies, Artworks and MDG (Dabringhaus und Grimm), receiving 5 ARIA nominations and critical acclaim, with 10 solo albums reaching the top 10 in the classical charts. Her 2014 release, Peter Sculthorpe: Complete Works for Solo Piano (ABC Classics) was selected as ‘Editor’s Choice – Instrumental’ in BBC Music Magazine, earning 5 star reviews and praised as “Australian piano gold” (BBC Music Magazine), “a profoundly affecting release” (Gramophone), and “an Australian treasure” (news.com.au). Tamara was also nominated for a 2014 AIR Independent Music Award for ‘Best Independent Classical Release’ with Close your eyes and I’ll close mine (Tall Poppies).
In 2017, Tamara’s solo album of music by Elena Kat-Chernin, Unsent Love Letters: meditations on the music of Erik Satie was nominated for an ARIA for ‘Best Classical Album’, and the ACO’s Mountain recording nominated for ‘Best Original Soundtrack’. Tamara’s newest release for ABC Classics is Into Silence, a solo and orchestral album of the music of Gorecki, Part, Pelecis, and Vasks with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Johannes Fritzsch and nominated for a 2018 ARIA Award for ‘Best Classical Album’.
Giving her first public performance at age two playing Bartok, and commencing studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music four years later, Tamara gave her first orchestral performance at age eight. She is the most awarded prizewinner at the Sydney Performing Arts Challenge, winner of the prestigious David Paul Landa Memorial Scholarship for pianists, and has toured Japan and the United States as cultural ambassador for Australia.
For more information, please visit tamara-annacislowska.com.au
Photography: Steven Godbee
The Advertiser review of Tamara’s performance with Adelaide’s Soundstream Collective, of George Crumb’s Music for a Summer Evening: “Sydney based pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska teamed with Soundstream director Gabriella Smart to revel in Crumb’s evocative sonorities and strangely ambient timbres … [with] deft finger and hand work both inside the instrument as well as on the keys.”
Tamara’s 2014 CD, Peter Sculthorpe: Complete Works for Solo Piano (ABC Classics), enjoys weeks at no.1 on the ARIA Classical Charts, and 5 star reviews in BBC Music Magazine where it is ‘Recording of the Month – Instrumental’, in Limelight magazine where it is ‘Editor’s Choice’ and in Fine Music Magazine.
- "Australian piano gold"BBC Music Magazine, 2015
- "strong and expansive. She played with a fleet-fingered fluency" (Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra)The Press, 2015
- "Cislowska's great gift is to pick up on the saudade inherent in this distinctive, finely-crafted, lyrical music, and project it outwards in an utterly natural, unforced manner. A profoundly affecting release"Gramophone, 2015
- "With solid technique, innate sensitivity and interpretative powers, Cislowska commands the music’s changing moods in the 58-track collection... Cislowska’s intelligent, unerring musicianship and strong hand... make this project an Australian treasure."news.com.au, 2014
- "unruffled and almost defiant virtuosity"New Zealand Herald, 2013
- "real mastery... extraordinary stamina and skill"Canberra CityNews, 2013