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Anna-Maija Laiho-Ihekweazu

Anna-Maija Laiho-Ihekweazu started her trombone studies in 1992 under the guidance of Heikki Moisio in Turku. She continued her studies at the Sibelius Academy in 2000 with Simo Kanerva, John Kotka, and Teppo Alestalo. In addition to her classical music studies, she learned to play the jazz trombone instructed by Antti Rissanen and the baroque trombone instructed by Esa Fagerholm. She has attended various master classes held by Jacques Mauger, Michel Becquet, Indalecio Manriquez, Teppo Alestalo, Yoshiki Hakoyama, Tony Baker, Jessica Buzzbee, Jörgen van Rijen, and Kristian Lindberg. She received her Master of Music with honors from the Sibelius Academy in 2011. She plays with the chamber music orchestras Ytybrass and Euphoria-sextet as well as the Turku Jazz Orchestra as a founding member. Laiho-Ihekweazu has performed and given lessons at the Lieksa Brass Week, where she premiered the concerto for trombone by Matti Laiho and the sonata for trombone by Paavo Heininen. Between 2002 and 2006, Laiho-Ihekweazu worked at the Guards Band as the sub-principal trombonist and since then she has held the position of sub-principal trombonist at the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra.

Anna-Maija Laiho-Ihekweazu has had soloistic roles with the Helsinki Symphonic Winds and the Sigyn Sinfonietta and performed with the Orchestra of the Finnish National Opera, Helsinki Festival Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Jyväskylä Sinfonietta, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Riverside Rascals, and the Navy Band. She has held positions of trust at the Finnish Trombone and Tuba Association and has given trombone lessons at the Turku Conservatory and Naantali music academy as well as Kymi Brass Festival and Rauduskylä music camp. She has also trained brass musicians at the Vivo Symphony Orchestra and music camps around Southwest Finland. Laiho-Ihekweazu won the first prize of the B-division at the National Brass Competition in Lahti in 1997 and the first prize of the A-division in 2003.