Dr. Marie Alatalo

Piano Faculty
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

Doctoral of Music Arts, Eastman School of Music

Bachelor of Music, University of Michigan

High School Diploma, Interlochen Arts Academy

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Rebecca Penneys, Eastman School of Music

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

Marie Alatalo has taught piano for over thirty years. Her primary goals are to provide expert teaching to students from the very first lesson and to help students realize their unique musical voice. She is an Examiner and Founding Teacher (US) for the Royal Conservatory (Toronto) Examinations. Dr. Alatalo's involvement with 20/21st century music brought her to the Chautauqua Institution (NY) where she presented a lecture-recital on George Crumb’s Five Pieces for Piano. She was coached by George Crumb during the Music Institute of Chicago’s “George Crumb Project” and performed both Five Pieces for Piano and Eleven Echoes of Autumn. Her performance of Makrokosmos, Book 1 was featured on “Music on Madison” at the The Musical Offering in Evanston. She has been soloist with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, performing Michael Torke’s Rust and Joseph Schwantner’s … and the mountains rising nowhere. She collaborated with a piano quartet to give the Chicago premiere of Lee Hoiby’s Dark Rosaleen and recorded John Adams’ Hallelujah Junction under a grant from MTNA. She has been the pianist for the Eastman School of Music Musica Nova Ensemble can be heard with the Eastman Wind Ensemble on the Sony release, ”Live in Osaka”, recorded during a tour of Japan.

Awards and achievements: 

Community Arts Assistance Program Grants (Chicago) Two Thousand Notable American Women The World Who’s Who of Women Quarterfinalist | Concert Artist Guild New York Competition Doctoral Fellowships | Eastman School of Music Graduate Awards | Eastman School of Music Chautauqua Fellowship Professional Development Grant |Chicago Area Music Teachers Association

Professional affiliations & activities: 

Examiner, Founding Teacher (US), Advanced Teacher Certification - Royal Conservatory of Music

Interests outside of music: 

Marie loves to cook and swim!

Favorite quote: 

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Rachmaninoff


"Good enough is not good enough"