Professor Dr. h. c. Arbo Valdma was born in Pärnu (Estonia) in 1942. He received his musical education at State Conservatory of Tallinn (Estonia), under the tutelage of Bruno Lukk (who was a student of Arthur Schnabel and Paul Hindemith). Later he continued his studies with Nina Emelyanova (a former student of Samuel Feinberg) at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow where he graduated with a Masters degree.
In 1970 he was appointed the role of Professor of Piano for Advanced Students at the State Conservatory of Tallinn; and from 1979, worked as Professor of Piano at the Music Academy of Novi Sad (former Yugoslavia). From 1984 to 1992, Arbo Valdma worked in the University of Belgrade as Professor of Piano, Professor of Piano Pedagogy; and was also the Head of the Piano Department. From 1989 to 1992, he was the Dean of Piano Faculty at the Academy of Arts in the University of Novi Sad. In 1992, out of 70 candidates, he was chosen for the role of Professor in the Cologne University.
Arbo Valdma has given solo concerts throughout Europe and Australia. Numerous well known conductors (such as Neeme Järvi, Eri Klas, Kurt Sanderling, Alfred Janson, Oskar Danon, Nikola Debelic, Alexander Rabinowitsch, Ivo Drazinic, Anton Nanut, Pavle De¹palj, Anton Kolar and others) have invited him to perform with various symphony’s and chamber orchestras. Amongst others, he has shared the stage with Fern Raskovic (Violinist) and Walter Despalj (Violoncellist).
Since 1984, Arbo Valdma has given his Master Classes around the world - in London; Moscow; Rome; Thessaloniki; Athens; Calgary; Tokyo; Montepulciano; Ohrid; Subotica; Belgrade; Zagreb; Novi Sad; Ljubljana; Kaushiung; Dubrovnik; Bad Sobernheim; Cologne; Orlando; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Atlanta; Sendai; Heidelberg; Chateau Podsreda; Hans Marteau and in many other cities.
His master classes’ calendar looks impressive. He also gives master classes in Tallinn; Tartu and Pärnu.
Arbo Valdma is a founding member of EPTA’s (European Piano Teachers Association) Department in Yugoslavia (established in 1988); Honorary President of EPTA Serbia and an Honorary Member of EPTA in Estonia. In 1991, he was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa grade by Estonian Music Academy. His students have won numerous places from the most prestigious International piano competitions all over the world: Brussels (Queen Elisabeth’s contest); Vienna (Beethoven’s contest), Vevey (Clara Haskil’s contest); Cologne (F. Chopin’s contest); Epinal; Geneva; Lausanne; Leeds; Munich; Sydney; Vercelli; Washington and in other cities.
Arbo Valdma has produced numerous televisions and radio shows where often his students perform to an exceptionally high standard. He has received worldwide praise through his performances at International symposiums as well as for various articles published on piano pedagogy.
Prof. Valdma started teaching Master Classes in Pärnu in summer 2003. His first piano school took place in February 2006. This is his investment to encourage piano skills here in Pärnu, the town where he has born. In February 2009, Pärnu City Government honoured Prof. Arbo Valdma with Pärnu City’s “Honour Insignia” for developing the local cultural and educational life and conducting Masters Courses in Pärnu for many years.