Isabel Ettenauer
Instrument: piano, toy piano

© Julia Wesely

Ettenauer Isabel


General Information

Year of Birth:  1972
Date of Birth:  17. September 1972
Place of Birth:  St. Pölten
Region of Birth: 
Country of Birth: 


PeriodEducationInstrumentTeacherEducation OrganisationLocation
1979 - 1990

lessons among others with Irmgard Blazej

1990 - 1991

private studies with Noel Flores

1991 - 1994

piano pedagogy studies with Adrian Cox


diploma with distinction

1994 - 1997

concert studies with Emmy Henz-Diémand, SMPV


diploma (Emmy Henz-Diémand)

1997 - 1999

private studies with Peter Feuchtwanger

1999 - 2000

Dartington International Summer School, Dartington/England: master classes (Joanna MacGregor, Rolf Hind, Henry Brant, David Bedford)

1999 - 2000

London College of Music and Media: Contemporary Piano Department (Philip Mead)



ever since teaches piano at the music school

numerous solo appearances in several European countries and the USA, mostly on toy pianos from her growing collection (25 instruments at present)

regular collaborations with composers, who have written for her over 30 original works; these figures include Karlheinz Essl and Bertl Mütter (A), Henry Brant (USA), Vanessa Lann (NL), Joe Cutler (UK), Tomi Räisänen (FIN), Stephen Montague (USA/GB), Guy Klucevsek (USA), Joe Cutler (GB), Manuela Kerer (I), Manuel de Roo (D), Matthew Hindson (AUS) and Franz Danksagmüller (A/D) etc.

collaborations with artists from other fields such as circus artist Jérôme Thomas (F), Mime Markus Schmid (CH), actress Anne Bennent (A) and stage director Richard Brunel (F)

collaborations with other musicians such as accordion player Otto Lechner (A) and Guy Klucevsek (USA), harpsichordist Goska Isphroding (NL) and the ensemble die reihe under Alexander Drcar (premiere of Karlheinz Essl's toy piano concert "under wood" in RadioKulturhaus Vienna, 2012)

numerous performances on broadcast programs and CD recordings for domestic and foreign television and radio broadcasters

conducts workshops for contemporary music and improvisation, also for children and students at national and international schools and universities

Performances (Selection)


with Jérôme Thomas and Markus Schmid


artistic direction of a music circus program (as a soloist) for Linz09

appearances with the project "the joy of toy", including a sold-out concert at the Uovo Performing Arts Festival


PeriodAwardCompositionAwarding Organisation

Youngster of Arts Award


Pasticcio Award Winner of the Month June with the CD "the joy of toy"

Press Reviews


A surprise in the "Night of the Unexpected" [the International Gaudeamus Music Week] was the appearance of the Austrian toy piano player Isabel Ettenauer, who played a complete mini-recital for toy piano. In the funny piece "La Maison de Fred" by Joe Cutler, she also had to talk, sing and blow on a whistle.

De Volkskrant 


8. September 2001

The performance of the toy piano virtuoso Isabel Ettenauer could, of course, not be missed. (Manfred Horak) 


31. March 2001

[...] unusual, versatile and outstanding [...]
(on Toy Piano) 

De Rode Leeuw 


27. January 2001

On this evening, Isabel Ettenauer managed to present something very special with her Cage performance and her virtuosity. The piano player, whose concentration could be felt in a truly immense extent during the whole performance and which lasted for over an hour on "Sonatas and Interludes", conjured on this evening a world full of color and happiness. It made you wish for more performances of this kind, which have an impact on you for days and invite the listener into a realm of creativity and infinity.
(On I. Ettenauer Cage evening at the Festspielhaus St. Pölten, 25.01.2001) 

@cetera, Literarisch-kulturelles Magazin

Discography, Projects


  • 2013: whatever shall be - music for toy instruments and electronics by Karlheinz Essl (CD edition eirelav 002)
  • 2005: the joy of toy (with première recordings of works for toy piano composed for Isabel Ettenauer; CD, edition eirelav 001)

Band/Ensemble Member of

Band/Ensemble Member of: