Jury Vice-Chairperson, Piano Section
Finnish pianist Matti Raekallio was born 1954 in Helsinki.
He studied in his home country as well as with Maria Curcio in London, England, with Dieter Weber at the Vienna Academy of Music in Austria, and at the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Conservatory in Russia.
Mr. Raekallio made his American debut in 1981 at the Carnegie (Weill) Recital Hall. In his concerts, he has performed cycles of the complete piano Sonatas of Beethoven, Scriabin, and Prokofiev, as well as altogether 62 piano concertos. He has made about 20 CDs, including an acclaimed set of the complete Prokofiev Sonatas.
He first taught for 30 years at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, while also temporarily working as professor in Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm, Sweden, and at Western Michigan University, USA.
In 2005, Mr. Raekallio became professor of the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, Germany. Two years later, in 2007, he received the invitation to join the faculty of The Juilliard School in New York. He shuttled between USA and Europe for a few years, until settling in New York in 2015.
In the USA, and concurrently with his work at Juilliard, Mr. Raekallio has held part-time professorships at Bard College Conservatory and at Oberlin College Conservatory. From 2018 on, he is based exclusively at Juilliard.
His students include several first prizewinners in major international competitions. He regularly serves as a juror in them, and gives master classes in the USA, Europe and Asia.
Mr. Raekallio’s Doctorate (Dr. Mus.) at the Sibelius Academy focused of 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 five-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 became Honorary Doctor of the Estonian Academy of Music.