bio

23-year-old pianist and composer Johannes Piirto has been praised for his “stunning virtuosity”, “freely and brilliantly sparkling” playing, depth of interpretation and “charming humanism”, to mention only a few of many flattering expressions in reviews. He has also been named as the “Mozart of Finland” by the press. Since childhood, improvisation and composition have played an important role in Johannes’ music-making. He was invited to premiere his own composition Virta (Stream) at the inauguration gala of the Musiikkitalo (Helsinki Music Centre) in the autumn of 2011. Several of his orchestral works, commissioned and conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste, have enjoyed succesful premieres with the Finnish Chamber Orchestra. Piirto is the artistic director of the Chamber Music Festival at the House of Nobility in Helsinki.

Johannes has appeared at numerous festivals and concert series in Finland and abroad, including Kauniainen, Mänttä and Iitti Festivals, Switzerland, the USA and the Cziffra Foundation Festival in Vienna. He has performed several times at the Gergiev Festival in Mikkeli, making his recital debut there as a 13-year-old after a succesful audition for Valery Gergiev. Johannes has performed chamber music with Lilli Paasikivi, Mari Palo, Petteri Salomaa, Natalia Gutman and Alexander Chaushian, to name a few. He has appeared as a soloist with most orchestras in Finland and collaborated with such conductors as Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Fabian Gabel, Sakari Oramo, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Dima Slobodeniouk, Okko Kamu and Olari Elts.

Johannes Piirto has succeeded in several national and international competitions, which include the Dorothy MacKenzie Artist Recognition awards in New York in 2008 and the International Maj Lind Piano Competition in Helsinki in 2012. He also won the Uuno Klami Composition Contest for Youth in 2007 with his orchestral piece Lumière.

Johannes has studied the piano at the Sibelius Academy with Liisa Pohjola, composition with Tapio Tuomela and conducting with Jorma Panula, and attended several masterclasses (a.o. András Schiff, Dimitri Bashkirov). At the moment he is finishing his studies at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna with professor Stefan Vladar.