Finnish pianist Matti Raekallio was born 1954 in Helsinki.
He studied in his home country as well as in London, England with Maria Diamond Curcio, in Austria at the Vienna Academy of Music with Dieter Weber, and finally in Russia at the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Conservatory.
Mr. Raekallio played his American debut concert in 1981 at the Carnegie (Weill) Recital Hall. Since then, he has made regular tours of the U.S.A., including solo recitals and performances with several American symphony orchestras.
He has performed complete cycles of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas, the 10 Scriabin Sonatas, and the 9 Prokofiev Sonatas, as well as altogether 62 piano concertos. These include all of Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev, as well as more rarely played works like the concerti by Busoni, Szymanowski and Lutoslawski. He has made about 20 CDs, including an acclaimed set of the complete Prokofiev Sonatas for Ondine Records.
In 2007 Mr. Raekallio joined the faculty of the Juilliard School in New York. From 2007 to 2010 he shuttled between USA and Europe, where he held a full professorship since 2005 at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, Germany. Before these positions, since 1998, he was full professor at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he had started teaching in 1978. In addition, he has held professorships at the Swedish Royal College of Music in Stockholm and at Western Michigan University, USA.
Mr. Raekallio’s students include several top prizewinners in international piano competitions, among them the First Prize laureates in Leeds, AXA Dublin, London, Vienna (Beethoven), Isang Yun (Korea), New York (Artists International), and Budapest (Liszt-Bartók). He has been a juror in several international competitions, including Tel Aviv (Artur Rubinstein), Geneva, Shanghai, Vienna (Beethoven), American Pianists’ Association, The Gilmore Prize, Tokyo (PTNA) and many others. He gives regular master classes in his home country as well as in the USA, Israel, China, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Austria, Sweden, and Denmark.
Mr. Raekallio’s Doctorate (Dr.Mus) at the Sibelius Academy focused on the history of piano fingering. Subsequently, Prof. Raekallio became a member of an international research team, investigating pianists' choice of fingering from the viewpoint of cognitive psychology. Mr. Raekallio received the Leonie Sonning Foundation Grant (Denmark) in 1980, and was recipient of the 5-year Artist Grant of the state of Finland three times altogether. He served for three years, 1998-2000, as a member of the Finnish Academy’s Council for Research of Culture and Society. In 2009 he was named Honorary Doctor of the Estonian Academy of Music.