Kristiina Junttu was trained in Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki, Finland. She studied piano with Liisa Pohjola and Ilmo Ranta, and continued her studies in London with Valeria Szerwansky. She completed her studies on many master classes with Katarina Nummi-Kuisma, Konstantin Bogino and György Kurtág.


Kristiina Junttu has appeared at many festivals in Finland and in most European countries, such as Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Lerchenborg Contemporary Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Festival and IRCAM Paris.  She has performed regularly as a solo pianist and also in several chamber music croups, most within Avanti! -chamber orchestra, which is one of the leading contemporary music ensembles in northern Europe. Kristiina Junttu´s repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary music. She frequently works with living composers, as Antonio Pileggi, Diogones Rivas and György Kurtág. With Kurtág she has worked through the majority of his piano music and also a specific selection of the classic-romantic repertoire. Kristiina has also appeared in several multi-art productions and she is very interested in contemporary music and improvisation.


Kristiina is working as a piano and chamber music teacher in East-Helsinki Institute in Helsinki, Finland. She has specialized in pedagogical training, giving regularly both seminars in continuing education for teachers and master classes for students extensively in music schools and conservatories around Europe. Most notable are the master classes concentrating in Kurtágs piano music collection Játékok. She has also developed innovative teaching and training methods especially directed for instrumental learning at early stages including physical and mental training and use of improvisation as a part of learning process.


Kristiina is completed her Degree of Doctor of Music about György Kurtágs piano music on spring 2010. Her portfolio required for the Development Study Programme and it has an artistic-pedagogical orientation. The subject of this degree is the early stages of piano teaching. The portfolio aims to: 1) broaden the ways in which we approach piano teaching in the early stages by using contemporary music, 2) bring new possibilities to teaching by using non-traditional piano techniques, improvisation and physical exercises and 3) examine the special aspects of teaching in the early stages. The portfolio comprises three parts: 1) internet-sites, 2) report and 3) a concert with young pianists. The portfolio can be seen and heard on the web at www.junttu.net.


The main focus of the work is Játékok (“Games”, in English), composed by the Hungarian György Kurtág. It is an avant-gardist, pedagogically and artistically remarkable collection of short piano pieces, which have been written for pianists of all ages. The main pedagogical ideas in Játékok are the use of the piano as a toy as well as the use of the whole body for playing. Játékok combines the teaching of basic piano playing technique with the development of musical expression and brings the body to the centre of playing. In Játékok, Kurtág uses some non-traditional piano techniques, such as different kinds of clusters (played by both the palm of the hand and the arm) and glissandi.


New ways of presenting information are introduced in the first part of the portfolio, the web site. On the web site one can find a large collection of videos which concentrate on the introduction of the non-traditional playing techniques used in Játékok and the improvisations played by young pianists. This web site also presents a collection of physical exercises for pianists. The exercises contain musical movement preparation which can be done without the instrument.

The second part of the portfolio, this report, deals with teaching piano in the early stages. The main focus is on Játékok and the pedagogical implications which arise from it.  The report introduces the natural physiological development of children from the instrumental teacher’s point of view. It also argues that using non-traditional playing techniques can bring about new opportunities in teaching piano. Non-traditional techniques can be used as a source of improvisation in the early stages.


The third part of the portfolio was a concert held in the Sibelius-Academy chamber music hall on 17th September 2006. The title of the concert was: Celebration on the black and white keys, György Kurtág 80 years. Performers were young pianists from the Helsinki area music institutes and Kristiina herself.

In English