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"McElwain showed herself to be a virtuoso who makes the clavichord resound with beauty and control in the most sensitive as well as emphatic moments."
                                         Early Music Journal 11/12
 
"Anna Maria McElwain produced dramatic effects on a Swedish five-octave clavichord in music by Bach and Beethoven. Chopin's Raindrop Prelude revealed new dimensions as performed by her on the clavichord."
                                        Tangents, Bulletin of the Boston Clavichord Society, fall 2012
 
"McElwain's imaginative, disciplined, and expressive playing make for undeniably engaging listening."                                  Clavichord International, May 2014

"McElwain is a true clavichord specialist."
                                                  Early Music Journal 2014

"Anna Maria takes her reckless task through with a confident musical touch and virtuosity."
                                                  Finnish Clavichord Society Website December 2013

"Anna Maria McElwain has released a CD entitled Hours Well Spent that seemingly accomplishes the impossible... The results are surprising and entertaining, and constitute an unusual advocacy for the clavichord as an instrument to explore almost any keyboard music."
                                                 Tangents, Bulletin of the Boston Clavichord Society, spring 2014

 
Anna Maria McElwain (1973) is a Finnish-born musician who started piano and violin lessons at the age of six. Her first teachers include Tytti Rouhe and Marjatta Linko. After studying at Turku Conservatory under the guidance of the Polish pianist, Elzbieta Guzek, she continued her studies in the United States at State University of New York at Buffalo with Dr Stephen Manes.
 
At the age of 21 she had already completed a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance as well as a Master of Arts degree in Music Theory. In her theoretical studies she specialized in the musical meaning of the Massoretic signs of the Hebrew Bible. Based on her studies she has recorded recitation of the Hebrew Bible.
 
Anna Maria is not known only as a pianist but as a player of harpsichord and fortepiano as well. She performs regularly as a chamber musician and accompanist, is a winner of Baird Concerto Competition from 1993 and has played as a soloist of Buffalo Civic Symphony Orchestra.
 
In the past decade Anna Maria has specialized in the clavichord. She studied the clavichord and fortepiano with Dr Pekka Vapaavuori, clavichord improvisation with Mikko Korhonen, and harpsichord with Jaana Ikonen. In 2009 she finished her clavichord diploma with excellent grades at Sibelius Academy, and was the first Finn in Finland to achieve a Master of Music degree in clavichord performance.
 
Anna Maria taught at the Sibelius Academy Kuopio department until 2010 and currently focuses mainly on giving clavichord concerts. She has performed on the clavichord in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy. Anna Maria's repertoire consists of music from Renaissance to early Romantic period. Anna Maria has explored the limits of the clavichord with the Beethoven Sonatas and has played Chopin on the clavichord mainly as a curiosity, which resulted in a study on the topic, "The Clavichordist's View on the Chopin Preludes" which compares the possibilities of the Swedish clavichords with the German models. http://ethesis.siba.fi/files/nbnfife201005271913.pdf

Anna Maria's solo recording on an 1808 Lindholm clavichord at Nydahl Collection in Stockholm came out in November 2013 (Robert Holmin Ljud&Bild). "Hours Well Spent" takes the listener through a magical trip through centuries of music starting from Andrea Gabrieli and concluding with György Ligeti, and is the first ever recording of Beethoven on the clavichord.  Hours Well Spent on Spotify
Another recording was released in May 2015 including music of Fux, Johnsen, Lithander and Beethoven.  Fux, Johnsen, Lithander, Beethoven on Spotify 
 
Anna Maria owns two fretted clavichords, a Wåhlström and a Hubert, both built by her father Thomas McElwain, as well as an unfretted five-octave Specken-Svensson built in 2010 by Stig Lundmark with help from the Northern Savonia Culture Fund. Anna Maria has also received grants from the Finnish National Council of Arts and Northern Savonia Council of Arts as well as a Kuopio Stipend in November 2013 from the City of Kuopio for her artistic achievements.
 
 
Together with Dr Michael Tsalka Anna Maria is the founder and artistic director of Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival which opened in Kuopio, Finland in 2012 and has taken place four times offering each time 20 concerts given by artists from three continents, several world premieres, and a course in historical keyboards. The fourth edition of the festival took place in Kuopio, Finland, May 27-June 3, 2015. Anna Maria is the founder of the First International Clavichord Competition (Kuopio, August 14, 2014), the first known competition in the 700-year history of the instrument, and also served as jury member in the competition.