Marja Kaisla, pianist and more...
Welcome to the world of music and love

If it makes you happy, do it. If it does not, then don't do it.

About Marja

Born in Helsinki, Finland, I began piano studies at age three and made my public debut at age five. I studied music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and the Petersburg Conservatory in Russia. My teachers have included the wonderful György Sebök, whose teaching I enjoyed during seven years in Switzerland, and Susan Starr, with whom I studied for several years when I moved to Philadelphia in 1987, where I’ve resided ever since.


An avid chamber musician, recitalist and orchestra soloist, I have performed extensively in the United States, featured on numerous radio and TV broadcasts including major motion pictures, and my Carnegie Hall debut was in 2005 as the pianist of my Trio Excelsior. My musical interests go far beyond performing and teaching. I am the co-founder of the Philadelphia Foundation for World Music and Arts, an advocacy organization promoting the arts and social harmony. Music is the one thing that can show the beautiful and wonderful side of human existence, and therefore a culture cannot survive, let alone develop without the arts.

I was the Performer of the Year 2013 for the Finlandia Foundation National, the largest organization in the US, headquartered in Pasadena, CA, promoting Finnish culture and Finnish American artists' work. 
At the request of the Finlandia Foundation National Board of Trustees, my 'performership' was extended until the end of August 2014. (

I have the good fortune to be leading Finlandia Foundation's Sibelius 150 Jubilee Committee
to bring the music of Jean Sibelius to audiences all around the United States in 2015, when we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the great composer's birth. Jean Sibelius was also the first patron of the Finlandia Foundation National.
Stay tuned to find out when the music of Sibelius will be coming to a town near you!

I received the Finnish Government's Commemorative Medal of the Centennial of the Parliament of Finland on May 11, 2013 for my work promoting Finnish and Nordic culture in the US.

I am currently also the Development Consultant for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra.     
Their website is
I've been honored recently through my advocacy and community work by becoming the President of the Finnish-American Society of the Delaware Valley (, Vice President of the New Sweden Alliance (, Member of Board of Directors of The American Swedish Historical Museum (, and Program Chair of Young Musicians Musicales, a decades old Philadelphia based member-supported organization promoting and presenting classical concerts by young promising musicians.
One of my big projects waiting to be implemented is developing a documentary and traveling to China to discover the reasons why the Chinese are showing such a huge interest in learning to play Western classical music. There are much deeper cultural and economic implications in this trend, so stay tuned to my blogs about the subject.

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My other interests include sustainable living, animal welfare, and quantum physics and quantum mechanics, which I can read about and discuss endlessly.