Pianist Laura Mikkola is one of the foremost pianists in Finland. She studied at the Sibelius Academy, Bloomington University Indiana, and probably as the first ever Finnish student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She studied with Tapani Valsta, Gary Graffman, Menahem Pressler and Ferenc Rados. As 20 years old, she had already had successes in several competitions worldwide: the Maurice Ravel competition in France (1988), International Maj Lind competition in Helsinki (1992), Unisa Transnet competition in South Africa and II. Prize at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth competition in Brussels (1995).
She has since collaborated with famous orchestras and conductors all over the world. Her repertoire contains, besides a big amount of chamber music, 64 piano concertos. Her interpretations and complete recordings of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s music have been internationally acclaimed. She has also recorded piano music by Rachmaninov, Einar Englund, contemporary David Chaillou and Svein Hundsnes, as well as Ravel and Mozart together with pianist Philippe Entremont. Her recordings have been published on Naxos, Toccata Classics, AEON, Fuga Libera, ECM New Series and Grand Piano labels. Laura Mikkola is artistic director of the Iitti Music Festival since the start 2003.