Kalle Toivio


Kalle Toivio is a Finnish virtuoso concert organist and pianist living in New York City. Mr. Toivio is the winner of the third prize at the 2016 American Guild of Organists National Organ Improvisation Competition (NCOI) held in Houston, Texas at the 2016 AGO National Convention. Kalle Toivio has played organ recitals and performed at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Riverside Church, St. Mary the Virgin and at the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage in Washington D.C. In September of 2013 Mr. Toivio performed at the inaugural concert of the new Taylor & Boody Op. 65 Bicentennial Organ at Grace Church in New York City.

In honor of the Jean Sibelius 150th Anniversary Celebration, Kalle Toivio gave a recital featuring organ music and song cycles of Jean Sibelius together with soprano Sharon Harms at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in November of 2015. This recital was featured in the 2015-2016 Season of ‘the Great Music in Great Space’s Great Organ Recital Series.’ In April 2016 Kalle Toivio gave a recital at the Central Lutheran Church of Minneapolis, where he improvised an entire organ symphony in four movements.

Kalle Toivio has toured in Europe, Japan and the United States. He has performed in Television and Radio in Finland, England, Belgium and Austria. Mr. Toivio is a founding member of Duo Toivio together with his sister cellist Seeli Toivio. In the United States they have had recitals together at the Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago and at the Carnegie Hall. Before moving to the United States, Kalle Toivio performed at numerous Mänttä Music Festivals since their founding in 1999.

Besides being a versatile career as a soloist and a chamber musician, Mr. Toivio is a producer of cultural events and concerts. As the Music Chairman of the Finlandia Foundation New York Chapter, Kalle Toivio arranged and produced the New York Debut Recitals of accordianist Veli Kujala and composer Sampo Haapamäki. Together with Leland Hoch, Kalle Toivio produced the first full performance of Rautavaara’s ‘Vigilia’ in the United States, conducted by Kent Tritle at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in November 2016. Kalle Toivio is the founder and Sub-Dean of the Finland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (FINAGO).

Kalle Toivio is the Organist and Director of Music at the Church of Notre Dame in New York City. Before his tenure at the Church of Notre Dame, Mr. Toivio served for five years as the organist of Christ Church Bay Ridge (Episcopal) and was Cantor of the New York Finnish Lutheran Congregation. He also founded and was the leader of the Christ Church Schola Cantorum. Mr. Toivio is in the organ faculty of Manhattan School of Music Precollege.

Kalle Toivio has graduated from the Sibelius Academy with Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Church Music as well as Master of Music degree in Piano Performance. His teachers at the Sibelius Academy in Finland have included Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna and Matti Raekallio in Piano Performance, Ville Urponen in Organ Performance, Pekka Suikkanen in Organ Improvisation, and Juhani Haapasalo and Timo Kiiskinen in Liturgical Music.

After moving to New York City Kalle Toivio continued his organ studies at the Manhattan School of Music. He received a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and was honored with the Bronson Ragan Award, given to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding ability in Organ Performance. For more than seven years Kalle Toivio studied the art of organ playing and improvisation with the late McNeil Robinson.  In the Spring of 2017 Kalle Toivio will graduate with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. His doctoral dissertation is on transcriptions for the organ of concertos by Antonio Vivaldi.