I’m truly happy and proud to announce that I’m now part of a new piano trio.
Pianist Laura Mikkola:
Finnish pianist Laura Mikkola has studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and the University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana.
Ms Mikkola has been the recipient of many awards, among them the second prize in the prestigious Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition of Brussels (1995), the first prize in the International Unisa Transnet Piano Competition in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa, the first prize in the Maj Lind Competition in Helsinki (1992), and the first prize in the International M. Ravel Piano Competition in France (1988). Ms Mikkola has been a soloist with Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra of St Petersbourg (Kirov), Wiener Kammerorkester, The Residentie Orkest, among others.
She has had recitals all over Europe, in Japan, the USA, South Africa, Columbia and Chile. She has been invited to the Festival International de Colmar, the 14th Festival de Música de Canarias, the Helsinki Festival, the Glories of the Keyboard in England, Yokohama International Piano Concert Festival and many others.
She has been performing with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leif Segerstam, Osmo Vänskä, Jean-Jacques Kantorow and Sergiu Comissiona.
Ms Mikkola’s Suntory Hall début took place in 1995, Carnegie Hall début (at Weill Recital Hall) in 1996 and the Hollywood Bowl début with Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen and the L.A. Philharmonic in 1997.
Cellist Perttu Kivilaakso:
Perttu Kivilaakso is the solo celllist in the world-renowned group Apocalyptica. Like fellow band members Eicca Toppinen and Paavo Lötjönen, he attended Sibelius Academy
Kivilaakso has received many prizes and awards during his life as a classical cellist. Among them is winning third place in the world-renowned second International Paulo Cello Competition in 1996 at age 18. Shortly after, he attained a lifetime chair in the Helsinki Philharmonic orchestra.
Kivilaakso has also composed music for the video game Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, a few documentary films, as well as many original compositions for Apocalyptica, including ”Conclusion, ”Farewell” and ”Beautiful”. His first opera, that he composed with his Apocalyptica bandmate Eicca Toppinen, was premiered at the Finnish National Opera on 22 January 2016. The opera, entitled ”Indigo,” tells ”a story of an omnipotent, multinational company and a search for happiness”.
Kivilaakso is an opera buff, which began while attending performances as a very young child at the annual Savonlinna Opera Festival. His father would play in the orchestra, and young Kivilaakso was entranced by both the music and the performances. Kivilaakso was three when he first asked his mother what he had to do to get onstage. He has a huge collection of opera recordings, including many rare and hard-to-find ones. His favourite composer is Italian Giuseppe Verdi, and his favourite opera is Il Trovatore.
Violinist Linda Lampenius:
Lampenius began studying the violin at the age of five, under the guidance of Géza Szilvay, the developer of the Colourstrings method. Brava’s career then began as a member and soloist of the Helsinki Strings at the age of seven.
Throughout her childhood Lampenius toured all around the world with the Helsinki Strings, giving concerts in London, New York City, Tokyo, et cetera. As a child violinist, she also appeared on Finnish TV numerous times as part of the artistic-educational TV series Minifiddlers in Musicland on YLE TV.
In fairly rapid succession Lampenius was awarded a scholarship by the Swedish Cultural Foundation for being such a promising young violinist, became Concertmistress of the Helsinki Strings, and performed as a soloist of the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Finland at the age of 11.
Lampenius has performed chamber music all around Europe, Asia, and the USA, working with various pianists, including Timo Koskinen, Folke Gräsbeck, Laura Mikkola, Carina E. Nilsson, Linn Hendry, and John Lenehan. Lampenius has also made many solo orchestral appearances. In addition to Finnish and Swedish city orchestras, she has played with La Scala Opera Orchestra and toured with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Lampenius was invited personally by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber to perform as the soloist in ”Metal Philharmonic” at Sydmonton Festival in England.
Lampenius has also appeared as a soloist of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. In addition to head lining music festivals with José Carreras and Kevin Kenner, Lampenius has also toured with Paul Potts and performed with Andrea Griminelli.
In addition to Sweden Lampenius has continued performing internationally as well. Some of her special appearances have included performances for the NATO troops in Kosovo, the Rhapsody in Rock show at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and violin concerts in Astana, Kazakhstan, Irkutsk, Siberia, and the Cannes Film Festival in South of France.
In 2010 Lampenius performed in the last concert of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Concert Series, playing works by Turlough Carolan, Michael William Balfe, and Michael McGlynn. She also appeared as a soloist of the Royal Swedish Chamber Orchestra in the grand finale concert of the 40th Annual Royal Palace Music Festival at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. In 2011 Lampenius toured as a soloist of the Schoenbrunn Palace Orchestra Vienna.
With her 1781 Gagliano violin Lampenius has performed for many heads of state and royals, including the President of Finland, Prince of Monaco, and the Royal Family of Sweden. Lampenius has also played for various European and American politicians, including the United States Secretary of Defense William Perry.