Tamara-Anna Cislowska is one of Australia’s most renowned, ARIA award-winning pianists, performing and recording in Australia and internationally to critical and public acclaim. Earning international prizes in London, Italy and Greece such as the Rovere d’Oro, and touring Japan and the USA as cultural ambassador for Australia, Tamara’s accolades include ABC Young Performer of the Year, the Freedman Fellowship, an Art Music Award for ‘Performance of the Year’ (ACT) and the 2015 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 toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. As recitalist she has performed at the Purcell Room in London, Kleine Zaal of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Frick Collection in New York, and the Sydney Opera House.
Frequent guest of orchestras and festivals worldwide, Tamara’s world premiere performance of Elena Kats-Chernin’s Piano Concerto no.3, Lebewohl, with Queensland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alondra de la Parra lead to the work’s nomination in the 2019 APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards for ‘Orchestral Work of the Year’, and inclusion in the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Vision 20/20 series, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. She has performed as soloist with the London Philharmonic, Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, and all major Australasian symphony orchestras with conductors such as Matthias Bamert, Edo de Waart, Asher Fisch, Johannes Fritzsch, Christopher Hogwood, James Judd, Karina Canellakis, Alondra de la Parra, and Markus Stenz. Recent soloist performances include with Sydney Symphony (Mozart) and Queensland Symphony Orchestras (Rachmaninov, Mozart and Kats-Chernin), Tasmanian Symphony (Gorecki, Kats-Chernin), Canberra Symphony (Prokofiev), and concerti by Britten and Shostakovich with Sydney Youth Orchestras and The Metropolitan Orchestra (Sydney). In New Zealand, Tamara has performed with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (Rachmaninov), and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (Liszt, Gershwin).
2022 performances included for Australian Chamber Orchestra, Four Winds Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre, UKARIA Cultural Centre (Adelaide), Art Gallery of NSW, the Sydney’s inaugural Out West Piano Fest (NSW), Gippsland Fine Music Festival (VIC), and regional touring for Musica Viva Australia, with collaborators including Rainer Jozeps, William Barton, Satu Vanska and Elena Kats-Chernin. 2023 engagements include as soloist with Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra performing Kats-Chernin’s concerto, Ancient Letters; Musica Viva Tasmania, for Australian Digital Concert Hall’s piano festival, performances for the Sydney International Piano Competition at City Recital Hall and Melbourne Recital Centre, and more.
Other recent engagements have included sold-out concerts for Sydney Festival, as pianist in CIRCA’s En Masse for Brisbane Festival and Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival (USA), and the world premiere of ‘Human Waves’, commissioned by Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for its Centenary Celebrations, with music by Kats-Chernin and libretto by Cislowska, celebrating with empathy and humour, the waves of human migration that have shaped the harbour city. 2021 saw the release of two acclaimed recordings for ABC Classic: ‘One Summer’s Day’ featuring the music Joe Hisiashi (and Studio Ghibli); and ‘Duet: Tamara-Anna Cislowska and Guests’, presenting selected highlights from Cislowska’s eponymous weekly program with leading guest artists, for ABC Classic. A second volume of Duet performances is due for release in 2022.
As Music Director and performer, Tamara devised the Joan’s 8 Grands concert spectacular and Elena Kats-Chernin’s Birthday Bash concert featuring over 80 musicians, presented by City Recital Hall. Highly sought-after for chamber collaborations, she has performed recitals with world-renowned soprano, Dawn Upshaw, Greta Bradman and Teddy Tahu Rhodes; recorded and toured for Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Mountain for Sydney Film Festival and the Barbican (UK); for Dark MOFO (Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time) at Port Arthur, Tasmania, and in the Australian World Orchestra Chamber Ensemble.
Tamara was a founding member of Berlin’s Mozart Piano Quartet, touring North and South America in this ensemble, and frequently performs with international artists including flautist Sharon Bezaly, tenor Kenneth Tarver, and the Danish String Quartet, at festivals such as Pierre Cardin’s Festival de Lacoste, the Kurt Weill Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Canberra International Music Festival, and Musica Viva’s Huntington Festival. Tamara has collaborated with composer/pianist Elena Kats-Chernin in numerous concerts, recording chart-topping 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.
With over 300,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and ten ARIA no.1 albums including One Summer’s Day: Studio Ghibli favourites for solo piano by Joe Hisaishi (ABC Classics), Into Silence recorded with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and Unsent Love Letters: meditations on Erik Satie, available on Deutsche Grammophon outside Australia, Tamara has recorded for Chandos, Naxos, ABC Classics, Tall Poppies, Artworks and MDG (Dabringhaus und Grimm). Her renowned 2014 release, Peter Sculthorpe: Complete Works for Solo Piano (ABC Classics) enjoyed months at no.1 in the ARIA Classical and Limelight charts and was ‘Editor’s Choice – Instrumental’ in BBC Music Magazine, January 2015. Earning 5 star reviews, the landmark recording was praised as “Australian piano gold” (BBC Music Magazine), “a profoundly affecting release” (Gramophone), and “an Australian treasure” (news.com.au).
Tamara also presents weekly program ‘Duet’ for ABC Classic FM, with guests such as Lang Lang, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Steven Isserlis and Lisa Batiashvili; volume two of live performances from the program, ‘DUET – Tamara-Anna Cislowska and guests’ with nominated for ‘Best Classical Album’ in the 2022 ARIA Awards. With an almost unparalleled breadth of experience as performer, music director, presenter, librettist, and now composer, Tamara also edits for Boosey & Hawkes (Berlin) and is frequently invited to judging panels across the arts and classical music.
Photography: Steven Godbee
November 2021, Tamara releases DUET (ABC Classics) with 22 acclaimed and ARIA-winning guest artists who perform a duet performance, broadcast live on air, with Tamara. The album reached top ten in both ARIA’s Classical and Classical/Crossover charts. Read more here
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.
- “the audience welcomed one of the busiest concert pianists around, Tamara-Anna Cislowska. What a treat to be able to hear such a fantastic, sensitive and agile pianist navigate Prokofiev’s intense and lengthy cadenzas… Cislowska’s playing was impeccable. She was in turns immensely powerful and charmingly vulnerable, channelling the young Prokofiev as the pianist battles with pressures and forces internal and external… thunderous applause”The Age, Feb 2018live review, Prokofiev Piano Concerto no.2 with Canberra Symphony Orchestra,
- “a thrill to hear [Cislowska] performing the technically demanding Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 2 in G minor… wonderful control and contrast in her playing style – one moment delicate and sublime then suddenly heavy, solid and demanding and in powerful control of her keyboard.”Canberra CityNews, Feb 2018live review, Prokofiev Piano Concerto no.2 with Canberra Symphony Orchestra
- “Tamara-Anna Cislowska’s solos are impeccable – ravishing in the Chopin and Beethoven and crystalline in Pärt’s bell-like Für Alina”Limelight Magazine, 2017Australian Chamber Orchestra: Mountain
- “magisterial and uplifting”Limelight Magazine, 2017live review: Monet’s Flowers of War, National Gallery of Australia
- "strong and expansive. She played with a fleet-fingered fluency"The Press News, 2015live review, Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
- "Australian piano gold"BBC Music Magazine, Jan 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, Jan 2015album review, Peter Sculthorpe: Complete works for solo piano
- "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, 2014album review, Peter Sculthorpe: Complete works for solo piano
- "unruffled and almost defiant virtuosity"New Zealand Herald, 2013
- "real mastery... extraordinary stamina and skill"Canberra CityNews, 2013