Finnish pianist Folke Gräsbeck has performed more than 200 of Sibelius’s c. 550 compositions, and has given the world première performances of 82 of them. He was the first pianist to give a recital at the new Sibelius Hall in Lahti (14th March 2000), playing a programme exclusively devoted to Sibelius piano music premières.
Gräsbeck’s Sibelius repertoire also includes the Piano Quintet in G minor, the 4 Piano Quartets and the complete works for Piano Trio. In 1996 he was awarded the medal of Sibelius’ Birthplace in Hämeenlinna, Finland.
Folke Gräsbeck studied with Mr. Tarmo Huovinen at the Turku Conservatory (1962–1974) and won first prize in the Maj Lind Competition in 1973. He made numerous study visits to London, where he was taught privately by Ms. Maria Curcio-Diamond. He also studied with Prof. Erik T. Tawaststjerna at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and became a Master of Music there in 1997.
Gräsbeck has performed some thirty piano concertos as soloist and performed as a recitalist, chamber player and Lied accompanist in the USA, Egypt, Israel, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mexico as well as in many European countries. He has made numerous recordings for the label BIS, many of which are included in the company’s complete recorded Sibelius edition.