About Dr. Anna Siampani
D.M.A. University of Wisconsin Madison
Masters & Bachelors – University of Macedonia
A native of Greece, Anna Siampani is a classical pianist, a pedagogue, and a researcher.
A recipient of numerous prizes in solo and chamber music competitions and exhibitions, she has appeared in solo and collaborative recitals in Greece, Austria, China and the US. Among others, Anna has been chosen to perform in the first PanHellenic Piano Festival, as well as in the European Transnational Program “Youth in Action,” in cooperation with the Hellenic Culture Foundation in Berlin. In 2018, she made her debut appearance in China, where she presented solo, duo, and lecture recitals, honoring Debussy’s centennial anniversary.
Devoted to the field of Piano Pedagogy, Anna pursues minor studies in somatics, biomechanics and body awareness for optimal performance. Her projects “Pianolates: From the Mat to the Bench! A Guide for Physical and Mental Warm-Ups,” and “Bodies in Tune! Reaching your Optimal Performance beyond Physical Practice,” emphasize the importance of body awareness and mind-body connection during practicing, aiming towards organic, vigorous and balanced performances. Her research has been presented at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Piano Pedagogy Symposium, the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association State Conference, the Madison Area Music Educators Association, the College Music Society Great Plains Conference, the College Music Society Great Lakes Conference, as well as through workshops in Beijing, China.
In addition, Anna continues her performance research on diverse and innovative Greek keyboard repertoire, aiming to engage students and audiences via lecture recitals and conferences. Her master’s thesis “Manos Hadjidakis: His Piano Works as Winds of Change within and beyond the Greek Borders” explores the piano works of Manos Hadjidakis, analyzing the composer’s musical language, his influences and aesthetic principles in modern Greek music. Anna is now working on her dissertation project, which focuses on performance and analysis of the complete piano works of Manolis Kalomiris, who is seen as the father of Greek National music.
Anna has been awarded multiple honors and scholarships for her performance and academic achievements throughout her studies. As an undergraduate, she was a three-time recipient of the Superb Academic Achievement Scholarship and the First Award of Academic Excellence by the State Scholarship Foundation in Greece. As a graduate student she was honored with the prestigious Lilian Voudouri and Alexander Onassis Foundations scholarships from Greece, as well as a graduate teaching assistantship from Penn State University and a Collins Fellowship for artistic excellence from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research has been supported with funds from the UW-Madison Graduate School, the Arts Institute, and the Associated Students of Madison. In 2019, Anna has been awarded the David and Edith Sinaiko Graduate Fellowship for a Woman in the Arts, marking her artistry and achievements in her field.
Anna holds her Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Macedonia, Department of Music Science and Art, and Penn State University, while she continues her studies as a dissertator in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at UW-Madison. Her primary teachers include Dr. Jessica Johnson, Dr. Timothy Shafer, and Prof. Uwe Matschke. She has also attended lessons and masterclasses with Richard Goode, Paul Lewis, Colette Valentine, Georgios Hadjinikos, Lilia Boyadjieva, Daniele Petralia, and Yuval Admony, to name but a few.
Prior to her appointment at Pacific Piano School, Anna has been working as an accompanist and a teacher for piano, class piano, and piano pedagogy at Pennsylvania State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW-Madison Pedagogy Lab and UW-Madison Community Music Lessons programs in the U.S., as well as in Municipal Conservatories in Greece.
I consider music making, in performing and teaching, a versatile, multi-disciplinary endeavor that reflects one’s musical values and artistic vision. I believe in a holistic cultivation of musicianship that fosters intellectual growth through critical listening, emotional creativity, and somatic improvisation. Emphasizing an embodied technique, students learn to listen to their “body-instruments” and deepen the connection between themselves and the piano, as well as between themselves and their partners, enhancing collaboration in music, partnership, mutual respect and understanding that goes beyond classroom. My teaching is enriched with somatic exercises on posture and efficient, ergonomic technique, through which I am addressing postural misalignments and unhealthy practicing habits that students so commonly develop. I always try to establish a positive, accepting learning environment based on empathy and mutual respect, where students can express their opinions and personal insights. I consider that a flexible, yet highly demanding, teaching approach built on peer interaction and musical exploration can nurture each student’s individual growth as a well-rounded artist, in pursuit of his or her unique musical voice.