Liisa Malmivaara has studied piano at the Porvoonseutu musiikkiopisto music college under the guidance of Brita-Liisa Johansson, at the Sibelius Academy (MuM 2004) with Hui-Ying Tawaststjerna, at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with José Ribéra and at the Sweelinck Conservatory (Music Post Graduate 2000) under the guidance Naum Grubert. In chamber music, she has been directed by Ralf Gothóni. In addition, she has participated in, for example, the master classes by Liisa Pohjola, Emanuel Krasovsky, Murray Perahia and Fou Ts'ong.
Liisa Malmivaara has been awarded, for example, in Kili's international piano competitions in 1992 and the Nordic Piano Competition from Nyborg in 2000. Se has performed, among others, at the Josef Hofmann Festival in Poland, Pianoaura Festival, Lemi Music Festival, Mänttä Music Festival, Nurmes Nuori Music Festival and the Kaakko Festival.
Liisa Malmivaara was the pincipal lecturer of piano teaching at the Turku Conservatory from 2003 to 2016. Today, she teaches piano and chamber music at the Helsinki Conservatory and the Sibelius Academy. In addition to her teaching work, she actively plays chamber music in various ensembles and works as a pianist at the Jousiakatemia Academy.