B i o g r a p h y
Love for Spanish music has brought Maria Männikkö success in her career. Through the passionate and brilliant performances she has charmed the audience and established her place in the music world as a Spanish music specialist.
Maria Männikkö is a finnish pianist, who has a graduated from the Sibelius Academy (Master of Music) and the University of Music, Theater and Media Hanover (Konzertexamen, post-graduate diploma) studying with prof. Matti Raekallio. Her first piano teacher in Riihimäki Music Institute was Jouko Planman and in Lahti Conservatory Rauno Jussila. At the moment she is an Arts Study Programme doctoral student at the Sibelius Academy, focusing on Spanish piano music composed by Enrique Granados and other composers from the late 19th century and the 20th century. Maria is interested in the narrative aspect of Spanish music. In her written thesis she reflects on narrative thinking in her work as a pianist. She focuses on how one can use a story as a tool when interpreting music, and also how a story works as a written mental exercise. “The power of mind is enormous – what and how I think reflects on my playing”, she believes.
Maria Männikkö has gained success in international and national piano competitions, among others Ibla Grand Prize in Sicily (1. prize, 2010), Seattle International Piano Competition (finalist, teachers´and audience´s special prize, 2008), Bradshaw & Buono (1. prize, 2007). She made her Carnegie Hall debut in Weill Recital Hall in 2007 and performed there again as part of her Four States Tour in the United States in 2011. As recitalist and soloist, Maria performs frequently in Finland, Europe and the U.S. She also appears regularly with pianist Pauli Kari as piano duo team PianoDuo ConFuego and with soprano Pia Pajala. In addition Maria Männikkö works as a piano teacher in Riihimäki Music Institute, Sibelius Academy and Piano Studio Kaskenmäki.