Laura Mikkola


Pianist Laura Mikkola has studied at the Sibelius Academy, the Bloomington School of Music in Indiana and, as the first Finnish piano student, at the renowned Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Her teachers include Tapani Valsta, Gary Graffman, Menahem Pressler and Ferenc Rados. 

By the age of 20 she had already won several piano competitions, including the Maurice Ravel Piano Competition in France in 1988, the Maj Lind Piano Competition in Finland in 1992 and the Unisa Transnet Piano Competition in South Africa in 1994. In 1995, Mikkola was awarded second prize and the audience prize at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in Brussels, as well as the Finnish Young Artist Award.

Since winning the competitions, Mikkola has had the privilege of working with some of the most renowned conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Hannu Linnu, Leif Segerstam, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Ahmed El-Saed, and with orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Washington National Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki City Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Cairo Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to chamber music, Mikkola's repertoire includes a total of 64 piano concertos. She is also known as a pianist with an in-depth knowledge of Einojuhani Rautavaara's music, having recorded all of his piano concertos and works for solo piano. Rautavaara even dedicated his piece Passionale for her.

Mikkola has also recorded piano works by Rachmaninov and Mozart, Ravel and Shostakovich with Philippe Entremont. Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat Major KV 365, recorded at the Iitti Music Festival in summer 2009 and performed by Mikkola with Entremont and the Iitti Festival Orchestra, was released in 2010. Five years ago, an album was released containing the complete piano works of Einar Englund. Mikkola performs works by contemporary composers David Chaillou and Svein Hundsnes on her albums released 2020. An album of new piano works by Svein Hundsnes was released in 2021.

Laura Mikkola has been the artistic director of the Iitti Music Festival since its launch in 2003.

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