Born in Helsinki in 1954, Matti Raekallio studied in his home country of Finland, as well as with Maria Curcio in London, Dieter Weber at the Vienna Academy of Music, and at the Leningrad Conservatory. He has been an active concert performer, making his American debut in 1981 at the Carnegie (Weill) Recital Hall. Since then, he has made regular tours of the US, including solo recitals and performances with several American orchestras. He has performed complete cycles of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas, the 10 Scriabin Sonatas, and the 9 Prokofiev Sonatas, as well as a total of 62 piano concertos. He has made approximately 20 CD recordings for Ondine.
In 2007, Raekallio joined the faculty of the Juilliard School in New York. He previously held professorships at the University of Music and Drama in Hanover, Germany, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Swedish Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and Western Michigan University in the US. Raekallio’s students include several first prize winners in major international piano competitions. He frequently serves as a juror and gives regular master classes throughout the US, Europe, and Asia.
Raekallio’s doctorate in music at the Sibelius Academy focused on the history of piano fingering. He subsequently became a member of an international research team investigating pianists’ choice of fingering from the viewpoint of cognitive psychology. From 1998 through 2000, he served as a member of the Research Council for Culture and Society of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters.