Seeli Toivio

Seeli Toivio is a Finnish virtuoso cellist and Doctor of Music. She regularly performs as a soloist and chamber musician in her home country Finland and abroad. She has recorded CD’s in Finland, Belgium and Bulgaria, and has performed in radio and TV in many countries (Finland’s YLE, England’s BBC, Belgium’s KLARA, etc.). Among other chamber groups, Seeli Toivio often performs as a duo with her brother, pianist and organist Kalle Toivio—they have performed together in Japan, USA, South Africa, and in many countries in Europe.

Toivio started her cello studies at the age of four at the Lahti Conservatoire of Music with Jouko Paavola. Since then, she studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Liszt Academy in Budapest, and at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Erkki Rautio, Hannu Kiiski, Marcel Bergman, Martti Rousi, David Strange, and Miklós Perényi.

Seeli Toivio has cello diplomas from the Royal Acadmy of Music (1998), and the Sibelius Academy (2003). She got her Master’s Degree from the Sibelius Academy in 2003. She graduated as Doctor of Music in 2009; her thesis was The Development of the Left Hand Cello Technique since the 18th Century—in the work she also introduces her own left hand technique, which she especially uses in virtuoso works.

Seeli Toivio’s repertoire includes soloist and chamber music works from the 17th century to the present day—she also arranges virtuoso violin works for cello (Sarasate, Paganini, Wieniawsky, Bazzini etc.) which she often performs in her concerts. She also enjoys performing versatile chamber music in various groups,and often plays new music at Finnish new music festivals.

Seeli Toivio has been a jury member in the Belgian cello competition “Servais” in 2007 and in 2009. She has also performed at the international Servais Festival in Belgium in 2006, 2007, and in 2010 with her brother, pianist Kalle Toivio, deFilharmonie Orchestra, violinist Linda Hedlund and harpist Lily-Marlene Puusepp. Together with Peter François, President of the Servais Society, she is studying the contribution of the Belgian cellist-composer Adrien François Servais (1807–1866) to the development of the cello technique.

Seeli Toivio has received grants and scholarships from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Päijät-Häme Fund of the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Finnish Konkordia Foundation, the Wegelius Foundation, the Pro Musica Foundation, Sibelius Academy, Royal Academy of Music, the Aino Ylhäinen Foundation, the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, the Vilho and Lahja Koponen Foundation, the Foundation of Alfred Kordelin, and the Paulo Foundation.
Seeli Toivio plays a David Tecchler cello from 1707, which the Finnish Cultural Foundation gave for her use in 2002.

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