Selection of successful students of Professor Niklas Sivelöv




Marie-Luise Bodendorff (*1983, Augsburg) began studying piano at five and entered the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe at 10, later studying with Olga Rissin-Morenova. She gave her first concert with the South-West Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim aged six.

She has appeared with Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim, New Philharmonic Westphalia, Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen, The Bacau Philharmonic, Kharkiv Philharmonic and Preußisches Kammerorchester. She has given recitals in Poland, Serbia, France, Germany, Scandinavia and South Africa and recorded for ARD, Bayerischer Rundfunk and P2 in Denmark. In 2019 she gave concerts in China including in Beijing’s Forbidden City.

From 2002–7 she studied with Vladimir Krainev at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media. In 2008 she studied with Brigitte Engerer at the Paris Conservatoire through the ERASMUS exchange program, and in 2007–13 with Christopher Oakden in Hannover. She studied at the RDAM with Niklas Sivelöv. In 2013 she was invited to play for the Danish Royal Family and in June 2014 gave her debut recital at the Tivoli Concert Hall, where she had performed Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto with the RDAM Orchestra a year earlier.

Her awards include Third Prize at Concours Musical de France, Paris 2019; First Prize “Assoluto” at the Concorso Internationale “Musica Insieme”, Italy 2017; Second Prize at the XI Concorso Pianistico Internazionale “Lia Tortora”, Italy 2015; First Prize at the International Piano Competition in Ischia/Italy 2018; First Prize at the International Feurich Music Competítion, Vienna 2018; two First Prizes at the 30th International Piano Competition, Città di Moncalieri 2018; Grand Prix at 3rd Future Stars International Piano Competition and two Special Prizes for best Rachmaninov and best Liszt performance in 2018.

Since 2016 she has taught piano and chamber music at the RDAM in Copenhagen.


Stefano Andreatta began studying the piano aged seven and made his debut with orchestra at 15 performing Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto. He studied with Francesco Bencivenga at the “Agostino Steffani” Conservatory in Castelfranco Veneto, and in 2012 he went to the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, studying with the Juilliard School’s Jerome Lowenthal, then with Riccardo Risaliti and Anna Kravchenko. In 2014 he was awarded a Masters in Piano Didactics with highest honours. He currently studies with Massimiliano Ferrati and attending a postgraduate course at the RDAM with Niklas Sivelöv

He won Third prize at the Concours musical international de Montréal in 2017; Third Prize at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Rome; First Prize at “Premio Brunelli” in Vicenza and in 2016 First Prize at the FVG International Piano Competition in Sacile.

He performed with Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, Orchestra Filarmonia Veneta “G.F. Malipiero”, Nova Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, “Mihail Jora” Philharmonic Orchestra of Bacau, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Astana Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded a CD for KNS Classical label.


Julia Dahlkvist, born into a Finnish–Russian family in Siberia, started to play the piano at three with her mother, Lidia Mustonen. She studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin, Royal Academy in Dublin, Stockholm College of Music and Danish RDAM in Copenhagen. Her teachers were Erik T. Tawaststjerna, Vitali Berzon, John O’Conor, Alicia de Larrocha and Niklas Sivelöv.

She has won the Nordic International Piano Competition in 2004, Finnish Performing Music Promotion Centre (2006), Kordelini Foundation in Finland (2002, 2006), Jenny & Antti Wihuri Foundation (2001, 2003) and Culture Foundation (2005, 2010); also the Swedish Music Academy, Anders Wall Foundation and Freemasons Lodge in Stockholm. She was awarded by the Léonie Sonnings musikfond in Denmark.

During 2006-8 she performed the complete piano repertoire of Debussy throughout the Nordic countries. Since 2011 she is on the piano faculty of Karlstad University, Ingesund College of Music.



Elisabeth Holmegaard Nielsen graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in classical piano performance at the RDAM with the highest marks and is completing her Master’s diploma with Niklas Sivelöv.

In October 2012 she was the winner of three prizes at the international piano competition for young musicians in Enschede, Holland. In November 2012 she was invited to study at the first Steinway Academy, an international school for gifted young musicians in Verona, with Federico Gianello. She won First Prize in the RDAM’s piano competition.

She has performed inter alia at the Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen; Round Tower, Copenhagen; the Town Halls of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg; Théâtre Municipal Baltazar Dias, Madeira, 2005; Kremlin, 2008; Laeiszhalle, Hamburg, 2010; Concert Hall of Artists, Gothenburg, 2011.

Elisabeth was chosen to perform the Grieg Piano Concerto at the Nordic masterclass for conductors in Alsion, Sønderborg, led by Jorma Panula. She performed with the National Danish Orchestra of South Jutland in 2013.


Filip Strauch began studying the piano with his father. At 10 he played Mozart’s C minor Fantasy for Slovak Radio. At the Conservatory in Žilina, Filip became a laureate of the Slovak Conservatories Competition and won a contest to play witj the National Chamber Orchestra. He was then admitted to the postgraduate soloist class at the RDAM with Niklas Sivelöv. Simultaneously, Filip won a scholarship to the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St Petersburg, Russia where has studied with Vladimir Shakin and Sergey Maltsev.

From 2004 he studied in Bratislava with Peter Pazicky and from 2005 he studied with Ivan Gajan and Marian Lapšanský. Filip worked with several renowned teachers: Ferenc Rados, Josef Kluson, András Keller, Avedis Kouyoumdjian, Dmitri Bashkirov, Christian Zacharias, Robert Levin, Catherine Brown, Juhani Lagerspetz, Steven Mayer, Liisa Pohjola, Jens Elvekjær, Boris Berman.

As a prize winner of the Yamaha competition in Bratislava in 2009, Filip performed with the Slovak Radio Orchestra and in 2014 won First Prize at the RDAM Piano Competition.



Kendzsi Tanaka was born in Hungary, and he is half Japanese. He studied at the Vántus István Music High School with Dr Lucz Ilona from 2009–13 in Szeged, Hungary, then with Joanna MacGregor at the Royal Academy of Music, London in 2017. He holds a Masters degree in Piano Performance, completed with Niklas Sivelöv at the RDAM.

He won Second Prize at the VIII. International Stasys Vainiunas Piano Competition, Third Prize in the VII. International Bartók Béla Piano Competition, along with the orchestra’s special award, a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Hungarian National Symphony Orchestra Szeged. He has also won First Prize at the 18th National Piano Competition in Békescsaba, Hungary and Second prize at the 32nd Valsesia Musica International Competition.


Nadia Okrusko was born in 1989 in Lithuania and started studying piano at the National M.K. Čiurlionis Arts School in Vilnius. In 2005, she had her debut with Kaunas chamber orchestra in Lithuania. In 2008, Nadia won First Prize at the Rosalyn Tureck Bach competition in New York and in the same year was awarded a honorary diploma by Lithuania’s president Valdas Adamkus.

From 2009, she studied with Leonid Tamulevich at St Petersburg’s Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. In 2018 she obtained her Master’s degree at the RDAM, where she studied Niklas Sivelöv.

She received several scholarships in Denmark, such as the Tove Birthe Legat, Feldthusens Fond, and Torp-Pedersens Fond. During studies at RDAM she won Second Prize at its piano scholarship competition. She has performed solo and chamber music in different festivals and projects around Europe, also in USA, Mexico, Ecuador and China.

Nadia works in Copenhagen as a piano teacher and freelance pianist. She tours in Danish schools with a piano quartet “Glemte stemmer”, which is part of the “Levende Musik i Skolen” school concert tour program, and plays in ensembles with multiple singers and instrumentalists.

Bingbing Zhu (*1989, Tianjin) began piano lessons aged four with her mother, and played her first solo recital at 16. She took her Bachelor Degree at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, studying with Taihang Du. From 2011 she studied for her Master’s and Advanced Postgraduate Diploma with Niklas Sivelöv at the RDAM.

She won Second Prize in 2013 Scholarship Competition for Singers and Instrumentalists, Second Prize in the 15th Asia Piano Open Competition (Hongkong), and Champion of Xinghai Cup Piano Competition (Tianjin).

She has performed at several music festivals including National Centre for the Performing Arts (China), Hong Kong Culture Centre, Allegro Vivo Music Festival (Austria), and 4th International Chinese Arts Festival (Singapore). In 2014 she performed Mozart’s D minor concerto with the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra conducted by Giordano Bellincampi.



Hugo Selles (*1988, Santander) began studying the piano at six, soon after studying with Francisco San Emeterio. After graduating from the Conservatorio Jesús de Monasterio, Hugo completed his Bachelor’s in 2010 at Musikene Centro Superior de Música del País Vasco in San Sebastian, studying with Marta Zabaleta, Miguel Borges, Gabriel Loidi and Ricardo Descalzo. Hugo is currently studying for his Master’s in piano with Niklas Sivelöv at the RDAM, for which he has been awarded a scholarship from the Fundación Botín of Santander.

He won First Prizes in competitions including Torrelavega and La Salle, and won the jazz category of the Fifth Music Competition for Young Musicians of Cantabria (2006), First Prize at the VIII Chamber Music Contest Rotary-Sardinero (2008), Second Prize at the XXIII Premi de Música Ciutat de Manresa for Chamber Music (2008) and Fourth Prize at the VII Nordic International Piano Competition (2014). He has performed in the Young 70 Quincena Musical concert in San Sebastián (2009), the IX Festival Musika-Música in Bilbao (2010), the XIII Anthology of Cantabrian Composers in Santander (2012), the Young Performers’ section of the 62 International Festival of Santander (2013), the Festival Bach og Mozart at Tivoli Koncertsal, Copenhagen (2014) and the First Ferrara International Piano Festival (2014).


Bogdan Nicola (*1989, Bucharest) started playing the piano aged seven at the “George Enescu” College of Music, studying with Ana Maria Ciornei. In 2008, he entered the National Academy of Music in Bucharest. He won the Romanian State Scholarship 2008–11. In 2011 he began studying with Niklas Sivelöv at the RDAM and is currently a Master’s student there.

He has won numerous prizes in national and international piano competitions, as well as Third Prize in  the international competition ‘Carl Filtsch’, held in Sibiu, Romania in 2012.

He has performed in various chamber music and solo masterclasses held by Boris Berman, Gabriel Amiras, Luiz de Moura Castro, and Sergei Osokin.

David Lau Magnussen (*1981) was student of Peter Feuchtwanger in London, Stefan Vladar and Avedis Kouyoumdjian in Vienna as well as Niklas Sivelöv in Copenhagen. As well as concerts, he lectures about life seen from the piano stool, which he is currently preparing to be published as a book. He has received numerous prizes and awards, among them the prestigious “Oddfellow Artist Award” after a solo recital in Copenhagen’s  Oddfellow Concert Hall. As well as regular radio and television appearances, he has recorded several CDs of chamber music, including Kasper Rofelt’s complete piano works (dedicated to David), and Martin Lohse’s Piano Concerto on the Dacapo label.

He gives masterclasses worldwide, including at the Chinese Conservatory of Music (Beijing), Royal Irish Academy of Music (Dublin), Heilongjian University (Harbin) and at Dulwich College International in most parts of China. He has played in many European countries and regularly performs and teaches in Asia. In China he has appeared both as a soloist and together as Duo Shaw-Magnussen (with cellist Jacob Shaw) in cities including Guangzhou, Beijing, Harbin, Suzhou, Shanghai.



Kristoffer Nyholm Hyldig made his concert début in 2010 at the RDAM from the class of Niklas Sivelöv, but for many years he has been a very active contributor to Danish music as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist. He has performed with orchestras conducted by, among others, Michael Schønwandt and Jean Thorel, as well as the Turangalîla Symphony with the Royal Danish Orchestra and Michael Boder.

He was awarded the Jury’s Special Prize in the 2009 EU Piano Competition in 2009, the Jakob Gade Scholarship, the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation Scholarship and, most recently, the Danish Music Critics Award. He has also produced recordings to be used in several Zentropa-produced movies and plays regularly at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.


Christian Westergaard (*1980) began studying the piano aged eight with Esther Lund Madsen. He trained at the RDAM with Amalie Malling and Niklas Sivelöv. He has accompanied a number of the leading young Nordic singers. He has played concerts at the Wigmore Hall, the Hamburg Musikhalle and in the rest of Germany, in Italy, Sweden, Norway and in Denmark in the DR Concert Hall, the Tivoli Concert Hall, at Takkelloftet and The Black Diamond. He is founder and artistic director of Liedkompagniet, which has renewed the focus on Danish Lieder with composers including Rued Langgaard and Herman Koppel. In 1999 and 2000 he won First Prize in the Danish Steinway Competition.

On Dacapo he has recorded chamber music with the Randers Chamber Orchestra by his father, Svend Westergaard, and with the singers Signe Asmussen and Adam Riis has recorded Songs of their Times by Ib Nørholm on Kontrapunkt. He has worked as an accompanist at the RDAM and the Opera Academy. Among other grants he has received the Van Hauen Grant and the grant of the Sonning Music Foundation.

Kati Eriikka Arikoski (*1979) started her studies at the Conservatory of Kuopio, Finland in 1986. Since 1999, she has studied at the Turku Arts Academy in Finland and graduated as a piano teacher in 2005 from the class of Jukka Juvonen. Her teachers have included Matti Raekallio, Erik T. Tawaststjerna, José Ribera, Pierre Réach, Emanuel Krasovsky and Liisa Pohjola. In 2008 she graduated with a Master’s degree at the RDAM and continues her studies in the soloist class of Niklas Sivelöv.

She has given solo concerts, been a member of various chamber music ensembles, and worked as Lied pianist in Finland, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Denmark and Austria. She also performed with the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra in 2004 at the Concert for Young Soloists, and played as soloist with the Sigyn Sinfonietta in 2006.

She won Third Prize at the National Leevi Madetoja Piano Competition in Oulu in 2006. In 2008 she won joint First Prize at the piano competition and Second Place with her piano trio in the chamber music competition at the RDAM.

As an active chamber musician, she performs with tenor Jakob Holtze and viola player Jussi Aalto, and in 2000 formed a piano duet with Anna-Mari Murdvee, which has performed in Finland, Austria, Denmark and the Faroe Islands. She also belongs to the group “Elokuu Ensemble”, which performs in Seinäjoki, Finland.



Søren Rastogi was educated at the RDAM, studying with Tove Lønskov and Niklas Sivelöv. He graduated with the highest grades in 2005.

He performs widely in Denmark and internationally, as soloist, chamber musician and accompanist. He has performed with most Danish orchestras with conductors such as Christian Mandeál, Douglas Bostock, Mathias Aeschbacher and Thomas Søndergaard in concertos by Schumann, Gershwin, Mozart and Stravinsky.

In 2006 he was appointed Artist in Residence by The Round Tower of Copenhagen and Danish National Radio, which included broadcasts of five concerts as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist. He has been broadcast numerous times in Denmark and Norway, as well as on several EBU broadcasts.

He has performed several works for choir and piano with the Vocal Ensemble of the Danish Radio. He collaborates with baritone Johannes Weisser; they released a CD, “Visiting Grieg”, which was recommended as one of the three best recordings in 2009 by Norwegian Aftenposten.

He has received numerous prizes and awards, including from the Danish Music Critics Association, and was a prizewinner at several competitions such as the 5th Nordic Piano Competition, Nyborg and the Mendelssohn Competition, Berlin.



Meiling Huang was born into a family of musicians in China.

She won First Prize at the Yan Bian piano competition in 1995 and gave concerts in nine Korean cities in 1996. She also won First Prize at the Ji Lin Piano Competition in 1999.

From 2001 she studied at the Middle School of the Central Conservatory of Music, with an annual scholarship. She won the TOYAMA Youth Piano Competition in 2003 and 2005 and gave concerts with China Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007. From 2007 to 2014 she studied at the Central Conservatory Of Music in Beijing with Taihang Du. In August 2007 she gave a concert at Klaviersoiree im Forum Seebach in Weimar.

In 2009 she also won First Prize at the Allegro-Vivo international music festival competition in Austria, thus performing in Austria in 2010. In 2010 and 2012 she gave concerts in Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall. In 2011 she was admitted with full scholarship to the Master’s program at the CCOM. From 2014 she studied in the piano soloist class (advanced postgraduate degree) with Niklas Sivelov at the RDAM.



Kristina Socanski (*1990, Belgrade) won several competitions for youth in her home country. She studied at the University of Stavanger and Barratt Due Music Institute in Oslo, as well as at HFM Franz Liszt in Weimar. She holds degrees from the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and RDAM. In February 2019 she graduated from the soloist class (Advanced Postgraduate Program) at RDAM, where she specialised in chamber music and accompaniment with Niklas Sivelöv, Friedrich Gürtler and Søren Rastogi.

In 2018, she went to the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College in New York as a “visiting scholar’, researching contemporary American music. Her research was presented in Copenhagen in 2019.

She has won prizes in competitions in Serbia, Norway, Italy, Austria, Germany and the USA. As a result she has performed in major venues such as the Salzburg Mozarteum, Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall and Berlin Konzerthaus’s Kammersaal, as well as LeFrak Concert Hall (New York), Stavanger Concert Hall, Oslo Opera House, Tivoli Concert Hall, Royal Danish Theatre and Kolarac Concert Hall (Belgrade). She has been broadcast on P2 Klassisk Danish Radio and on Serbian radio and television. She has received many grants and scholarships.

In 2017 she studied accompaniment and opera coaching with Jane Klaviter at the Bel Canto Institute in Italy. She is a member of several chamber music ensembles, as well as the founder and artistic director of Vrsac International Chamber Music Festival in Serbia.

She has performed in Scandinavia, numerous European countries and in the USA. As a part of her soloist degree, she has been a teaching assistant for the piano class at the RDAM.


Anne-Marie Lipsonen (*1981, Helsinki) began studying the piano aged four and violin aged eight. She took her Bachelor’s degree as a pianist in 2005 at the Helsinki Conservatory/ Stadia-Polytechnic. She finished her studies for her Master’s degree at the RDAM with highest grades, studying with Niklas Sivelöv. She undertook the postgraduate program specialising in chamber music, practice and accompaniment at the RDAM with Niklas Sivelöv and Friedrich Gürtler.

She has performed in Finland and abroad. She has been awarded prizes in the Fifth Nordic Lied Competition 2007 with soprano Lina Johnson, Erkki Melartin Lied Competition 2004 with soprano Katri Mäntylä, Piano Competition in IV Forum Internacional de Música 2006 in Spain and was awarded several grants including from the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation in Denmark.

She is an active lied pianist and accompanist and has given concerts at the Danish Song Society among others. In spring of 2009 she studied at the Curtis Opera Theatre at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.

She has performed in contemporary music festivals such as the Musica Nova Festival in Helsinki and Ung Nordisk Musik Festival in Copenhagen, and has performed Danish composers at the Nordic Music Festival in St Petersburg with the St Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic.

She has worked as pianist in masterclasses with Bo Skovhus, Anner Bylsma, Ralph Kirschbaum, Valter Despalj, Reinhard Latzko, Harro Ruijsenaars and Jakob Kullberg.


Nikolaus von Bemberg (*1991, Munich) studied classical music performance at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich with Markus Bellheim, and is studying with Niklas Sivelöv in the Master’s degree program at the RDAM.

He creates programs presenting classical music in new ways, for example a talk show featuring American music styles including jazz and classical, premiered in 2019 at the Münchner Stadtmuseum. “Memories of D. Shostakovich” is a portrait of the Russian composer embracing spoken word with several musical works by Shostakovich. It was premiered in 2020 at Munich’s Schloss Nymphenburg.

He is interested in the musical development of the 20th century, improvised music, and in cooperating with artists of other disciplines, including authors, actors, dancers, singers and visual artists, such as with the Catalan theatre group La Fura dels Baus. He received a Germany Scholarship and currently holds a scholarship from the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Foundation. As an honorary jury member he acts for the German competition “Jugend musiziert”.


Daniel Beskow studied at the Royal College of Music and Edsbergs Institute of Music in Stockholm and continued his studies in Norway with Jiri Hlinka and in London with Peter Feuchtwanger. He received his Soloist Diploma at the RDAM with Niklas Sivelöv and studied at the Hochschule für Music und Theater Hannover with Einar Steen Nökleberg.

He has undertaken extensive concert tours in Scandinavia as a soloist and chamber musician in such places as the Grieg Hall, Troldhaugen; Berwald Hall and the Tivoli Concert Hall and has performed at several chamber music festivals including Hindsgavl, Bornholm and Lyngbo.

He was awarded First Prize in the RDAM soloist and chamber music competitions, the Audience Prize in the Danish Radio P2 contest, 2011; Second Prize in “young and promising”, 2011; prizewinner in the piano competition in DKDM, 2012. He won several awards from the Swedish Royal Academy of Music and RWA DEA major German scholarship. He specialises in Nordic piano repertoire and the Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar.