Mikael Eliasen | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Mikael Eliasen

Mikael Eliasen. Pianist, accompanist, teacher, administrator, b Copenhagen 3 Dec 1944, naturalized Canadian 1972; L MUS (Montreal) 1966.

Eliasen, Mikael

Mikael Eliasen. Pianist, accompanist, teacher, administrator, b Copenhagen 3 Dec 1944, naturalized Canadian 1972; L MUS (Montreal) 1966. At an early age he studied composition with Svend Eric Tarp and Jörgen Jersild in Copenhagen, and several of his works, including a string quartet, piano pieces, and songs, were performed on Danish State Radio and at the ISCM. He moved to Montreal in 1963 studying piano at McGill University with Charles Reiner and accompanying singers at the McGill Opera Studio. With the help of scholarships and a grant from the Austrian Society of Montreal, he studied in Vienna 1966-70 with Dieter Weber (piano) and Eric Werba (accompaniment). Following his first tour with John Boyden in Canada, the USA, Europe, and the USSR on a Canada Council grant, he continued specializing in Lieder accompaniment with Eugenia Ludwig-Besalla in Vienna. He then moved to New York in 1973 and began to tour extensively throughout Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, Israel, and the USSR with such singers as Elly Ameling, Tom Krause, Edith Mathis, Johanna Meier, Robert Merrill, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, Florence Quivar, Michael Schade, Michal Shamir, John Shirley-Quirk, Theodor Uppman, Sarah Walker, and Mira Zakai. He has frequently recorded for CBC, Hilversum Radio, Polish State Radio, Irish Radio, and Kol Israel, and participated in many summer festivals including Festival Ottawa, Wolf Trap, and the Wexford Festival in Ireland. His recordings include performances with the singers John Boyden (1969, CBC SM-88/Ace of Diamonds SDD-2158), Joan Patenaude-Yarnell (1977, Mus H Soc MHS-3433 and 1978, Mus H Soc MHS-3770), Rut Rex (1976, EMI Electrola F-666-448), and the flautist Sato Moughalian (1988, Mus H Soc MHS-912140/Mus H Soc 512140-CD). His playing combines the qualities of a sensitive partner with the personality of a soloist.

Eliasen began in the early 1980s to give masterclasses in accompanying and in opera and vocal literature, notably at the Jerusalem Music Centre in Israel, the San Francisco Opera Center and the National Opera Theatre Studio in Prague, as well as in many teaching institutions such as the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Brisbane in Australia and the University of Seoul in Korea He also has been a member of various juries including the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and the Bruce Yarnell Memorial Award. In 1986 he became the artistic director of the European Centre for Opera and Vocal Art (ECOV), an international summer opera school held in Belgium. He began teaching at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia in 1987 where he became head of the Opera Dept in 1989.