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"How can a cello sound like an orchestra! In two words: superb playing!”

Harri Hautala, Aamulehti

"Stepping into Yo-Yo Ma's shoes requires both skill and attitude. Kankkunen had both." 

Annmari Salmela / Helsingin Sanomat

"Kankkunen played the super demanding solo part with admirable feeling and precision." 

Mats Liljeroos / Hufvudstadsbladet


Helsinki-based Finnish cellist Lauri Kankkunen (born 1990) chose the cello as his instrument when he was five, because the violin was, as he then said, too high and the piano rattled too much. Nowadays he is very happy that his dear childhood hobby has become his profession. He is a versatile musician who feels at home as both soloist, chamber musician, teacher and orchestra principal. As a soloist Lauri has played with for example Helsinki Philharmonic and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and with conductors such as Susanna Mälkki and Jan Söderblom. As a devoted chamber musician he has performed in most Finnish festivals and most European countries. In addition, in 2019 he joined Apolyptica – a Finnish heavy metal band of classically-trained cellists – for its world tour taking in some 50 concerts. Lauri Kankkunen is the 1st solo cellist of Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Before his current position he has served as both 2nd solo cellist and a tutti cellist in the same orchestra and as co-principal cello in Tampere Filharmonia. As a guest solo cellist he has worked in most Finnish orchestras. He enjoys teaching a lot and currently teaches at Länsi-Helsingin Musiikkiopisto in Helsinki. Lauri’s most influential teachers are professors Truls Mørk, Martti Rousi and Pauli Heikkinen. Important mentors at master classes include Frans Helmerson, David Geringas and Ivan Monighetti. Lauri Kankkunen plays on an anonymous 18th-century Italian cello generously on loan to him from the City of Helsinki. The cello was previously owned by emeritus solo cellist of Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and has thus been part of the orchestra already since 1980´s. Kankkunen is quite obsessed with winter swimming. His other interests include pizza baking, good quality espresso and football. Last modified: March 2023





The whole 2022-2023 season of Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra can be seen here.

  • Sat, 05 Aug
    05 Aug 2023, 18:00
    Tampere, Puuvillatehtaankatu 2, 33210 Tampere, Suomi
    Lauri Kankkunen, sello & Matilda Kärkkäinen, piano @ Wanhankaupungin juhla
  • Sat, 29 Jul
    Joutsenon opisto
    29 Jul 2023, 19:00 – 04 Aug 2023, 19:00
    Joutsenon opisto, Pöyhiänniementie 2, 54100 Joutseno, Finland
    Cello master class in Joutseno 29.7.-4.8.
  • Sat, 08 Jul
    08 Jul 2023, 19:00
    Lahti, Kirkkokuja 1, 19700 Sysmä, Suomi
    Total Cello Ensemble @ Sysmän Suvisoitto
  • Sat, 17 Jun
    17 Jun 2023, 19:00
    Kangasala, Kuohunharjuntie 6, 36200 Kangasala, Finland
    Total Cello Ensemble & Marjukka Tepponen @ Kangasala Classic
  • Sun, 12 Mar
    12 Mar 2023, 14:00
    Helsinki, Paviljonkikuja 10, 00600 Helsinki, Finland
    Britten op. 87 & Shostakovich op. 57


+358 400 126 727


lauri.kankkunen (at)


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