Pianist and early keyboard performer Tsalka was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Tel-Aviv University, he continued studies in Germany and Italy. In 2001, he received a piano solo diploma from the Scuola Superiore Internazionale del Trio di Trieste, where he studied with Dario di Rosa. From 2002 to 2008, he resided in Philadelphia and studied at Temple University fortepiano and chamber music with Lambert Orkis, modern piano and piano duo with Harvey Wedeen, and harpsichord, clavichord and chamber organ with Joyce Lindorff. Tsalka holds three degrees from that institution: a master’s degree in chamber music/accompanying, a master’s degree in harpsichord performance and a doctorate in piano performance. Other teachers include Klaus Schilde, Sandra Mangsen, and Malcolm Bilson.
Tsalka has won numerous prizes, awards and fellowships in Rome, Bayreuth, Bonn, Paris, Genoa, Calabria, Sardinia, Tel-Aviv, Chicago, Minneapolis, Berlin, Mexico City, Kuopio, and Philadelphia. A versatile musician, he performs solo and chamber music repertoire from the Baroque to the Contemporary periods on the modern piano, harpsichord, fortepiano, clavichord, square piano and chamber organ.
Dr. Tsalka performs throughout Europe, the U.S.A., Canada, Asia, Russia, and Latin America. Recent engagements include performances for the Boston Early Music Festival, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Bellas Artes Theater in Mexico City, the Hermitage Festival in St. Petersburg, Konserhuset in Stockholm, St. Denis Festival in Paris, the Filharmonika Orchestra in Manila, the Trinity series in New York, and interviews and live performances for radio stations in Hong Kong, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Berlin, and Jerusalem. American, Russian, Israeli, German, Italian, Argentinean, Swedish, and Mexican composers have dedicated pieces to Tsalka. In 2013-2014, he will perform world premieres by Leonardo Coral, Max Yount, Sergey Yevtushenko, Jouni Kuronen, Mari-anne Hof and Liu Qing. 2014 engagements include tours in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, the U.S.A., the Middle East, Europe, as well as a recital at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. A committed educator, he presented 55 lecture-recitals and master classes in festivals and academic institutions in all continents. He has been a faculty member at the piano department of Temple University and a harpsichord and chamber music professor at the Escuela Superior de Música, National Center for the Arts (México City). He currently teaches early keyboards, piano, and chamber music at Lilla Akademien in Stockholm.
Tsalka was the artistic director of a concert cycle dedicated to J. S. Bach, at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Qingdao Grand Theater and the Qintai Concert Hall in Wuhan from March to December, 2011. Currently, he is the coartistic director of the Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival in Kuopio, Finland (2012, 2013).
Several of his scholarly articles have been published by specialized musicological journals, including Clavicordio VIII (Italy) and the Early Keyboard Journal (USA). Tsalka has recorded thirty of Daniel Gottlob Türk’s keyboard sonatas for the NAXOS/ Grand Piano label, and working towards a critical edition of these works for Artaria Editions in New Zealand. CDs 1-4 were recently released. A recording of the “Goldberg” Variations was released in May, 2013 by the Viennese label Paladino. Recording projects for 2013 and 2014 for NAXOS/Grand Piano and Paladino include CDs dedicated to the capriccios of Johann Baptist Vanhal, the fantasies and variations of Ferdinand Ries, the piano sonatas of Johannes Brahms, and the piano works of Viktor Ullmann.
Throughout his career, Tsalka has received numerous favorable reviews: “Tsalka demonstrated control of a pearly, brilliant touch, as well as a subtle phrasing, full of nobility and expression” (El Siglo, Argentina); “Two sonatas by Daniel Gottlob Türk, played on clavichord, were another high point [of the recital. The sound of the clavichord made the audience listen with increased concentration and created a highly intense atmosphere" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung); “Tsalka is evidently a true, brilliant musician…” (Clavichord International, Amsterdam); “The concert was a smashing success...” (Global Times, Beijing); “Tsalka quickly took command of the evening at the full concert hall and did so with such simplicity and great elegance that the public was enchanted.” (Folket, Sweden); Tsalka showed almost incredible virtuosity throughout...” (Berkshire Review, Boston and New York).