If it wasn’t for Tori Stødle’s efforts and vision, the Top of the World International Piano Competition simply wouldn’t have exsisted. She is the brains and the steam engine behind a competition that has rapidly become a World phenomenon.
Tori Stødle, Top of the World’s Artistic Director, is, of course, a piano virtuoso herself, with 7 CD releases to her name and hundreds of concerts performed around the Globe. Even His Majesty the King of Norway has lauded her efforts by appointing her to Knight First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for her contributions to the Norwegian cultural scene.
Starting off as a student of Mary Barratt Due and Robert Riefling, Tori went on to study with Professor Jürgen Uhde at Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Stuttgart and later with the legendary Adele Marcus, in New York. She has since given concerts, masterclasses and lecture recitals in Europe, Russia and USA. She also takes part as jury member in numerous international piano competitions. In New York she has given lecture recitals at Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music.
Tori has World-premiered several Norwegian works dedicated to her and received numerous grants and prizes. After her New York-debut at Carnegie Hall in 1990, James R. Ostreich of the New York Times wrote: “She is a superbly refined miniaturist, able to create little worlds of colour and poetry with exquisite shading of dynamics and shaping of phrases”.
Tori is Professor Emeritus of piano at the Music Conservatory, Faculty of Art, University of Tromsø. Recently she released a DVD presenting Adele Marcus Technical Regimen. She is also an appointed Steinway artist.
Extended program for the orchestra in the opening concert at the Festival of North-Norway results in more rehearsal hours for the conductor, Olaf Henzhold, which leads to the impossibility of combining the two roles of conductor and jury member. The Artistic Director of Top of the World will therefore join the competition jury in his place.