M.Mus, B.Mus, RMT, RCM Examiner
Heidi Saario is a versatile musician as a soloist, a collaborative pianist, and a piano instructor. Her playing has been praised as displaying “a dynamic range of expression that runs from rippling fine sounds of a brook to the thunderous chords of a storm”.
Heidi Saario was born in Helsinki, Finland, and moved to Toronto in 2002. She started taking piano lessons at the age of four. Her professional studies took place at the Helsinki Conservatory from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree. At the Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, she studied with Leslie Kinton, earning a Masters Degree in Performance and Pedagogy. In Finland, she has complemented her studies in Master Classes with Liisa Pohjola, Matti Raekallio, and Teppo Koivisto and in Canada with Jane Coop, Marc Durand, Robert McDonald, and John Perry. She is a recipient of several awards and scholarships including the Women’s Art Association of Canada - Barbara Wilkes Scholarship and Hilda Dorothy Borman Scholarship.
Heidi has performed as a soloist and a chamber musician internationally. Recently she has added a Scandinavian focus in her repertoire. Her debut CD Jean Sibelius - Compositions for Piano was released in March 2008. The CD includes a selection of Sibelius’ piano pieces, from old favorites to hidden gems. It was recorded at the CBC studios in Toronto and has been warmly welcomed by audiences in Europe and North America. The CD is available for purchase at www.aspasiabooks.com. In addition to playing solo piano repertoire, Heidi actively collaborates with soprano Cindy Koistinen. The goal of this dynamic duo is to promote Finnish and Scandinavian art music. Heidi’s solo and collaborative performances take her continuously into many communities across Ontario as well as other provinces in Canada.
Aside from performance, Ms. Saario is a passionate educator and maintains a private studio in Toronto teaching students of all ages and levels. She is a member of the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory of Music and examines students across Canada. In addition, Heidi Saario works as a coordinator for the Contemporary Showcase music festival in Toronto, which is an exciting annual festival promoting music of contemporary Canadian composers.