“When I perform on Steinways I feel such a big relief, because I always know what to expect: a rich sound, a profound and speaking tone, and a palette full of infinite colors.”
A pioneering artist bridging the creative world and societal boundaries with environmental activism, pianist Mahani Teave is the only professional classical musician on her native Easter Island, serving as an important cultural ambassador to this legendary, cloistered area of Chile.
Having twice been distinguished as one of the 100 Women Leaders of her country, Mahani has performed for the past five presidents of Chile, the Chilean Congress, Embassies in Chile, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, China, Japan, Ecuador, Korea, Mexico and beyond in symbolic places including the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and Chile’s Palacio de La Moneda. Her strong belief in the profound, healing power of music, however, led Mahani to not only perform in the world’s foremost concert halls on six continents, but in hospitals, schools, jails, and low income areas with the intent of bringing comfort, joy, and hope to others.
A passion for classical music, her local culture, and the environment of her island, along with an intense commitment to high-quality music education for children, inspired Mahani to found the non-profit organization Toki Rapa Nui with her husband Enrique Icka, creating the first School of Music and the Arts of Easter Island. The school offers both classical and traditional Polynesian lessons in various instruments to over 70 children. Toki Rapa Nui provides not only musical, but cultural, social and ecological support for its students and the area. The school’s infrastructure, recognized by Recyclápolis Environmental National Award and built by the organization, is completely self-sustaining and unique in Latin America and Polynesia; it uses recyclable materials, solar energy and water collectors, and the organization has developed a large organic agro-ecological project to help create a more environmentally sound island.
Mahani is the winner of numerous international piano competitions and awards, including the APES Prize for best classical music performance in Chile (where she performed Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 1 with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile), the Claudio Arrau International Piano Competition, the Merit Prize (arts) from Andrés Bello University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Concerto Competition. In addition, she received the Advancement of Women Award from Scotiabank for her leadership and work promoting music on Easter Island, and was made honorary VP of the World Indigenous Business Forum in 2017.
Making her debut at the age of nine, Mahani joined famed Chilean pianist Roberto Bravo on a series of concert tours. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree, with highest honors, from Austral University in Valdivia, Chile, where she studied with Ximena Cabello, her Masters degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Sergei Babayan, and completed her post-graduate studies in Berlin, Germany, studying with Fabio Bidini at the Hanns Eisler Musik Hochschule.
Mahani is a Steinway artist and currently lives on Easter Island, combining concert tours with leading the Music School and motherhood. Her debut recording, Rapa Nui Odyssey; A Mahani Teave Piano Recital, will be released in January of 2021 on the Rubicon Classics Label. A new documentary film by fifteen-time Emmy award-winning producer and director John Forsen, who was inspired to tell the unique story of Mahani’s personal and artistic journey, is available in 68 countries.
Mahani Teave is a Steinway Artist