In April 2000, at the age of twenty, the Finnish pianist Antti Siirala won the London International Piano Competition. Replacing an indisposed finalist at extremely short notice, he carried off the First Prize after a masterly performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. Born in Helsinki in 1979 into a musical family, Antti Siirala made his début with orchestra at the age of seven and went on to win First Prize in the Juvenalia Chamber Music Competition at the age of thirteen. Since then, he has been awarded prizes in eight music competitions in Finland.
A student at the Sibelius Academy with Matti Raekallio and Ivari Ilja, he was also encouraged by Mitsuko Uchida and Murray Perahia. Before his triumph in London, he had already won Second Prize in the Dino Ciani Competition in Milan, and First Prize and a special award for the best performance of a late Beethoven Sonata (‘Hammerklavier’) in the Beethoven Competition in Vienna. He has given recitals and appeared as a soloist with well-known orchestras in major cities and festivals throughout Europe and in the United States. His début recording of Liszt Schubert transcriptions for Naxos forms part of the Grand Prize of the London International Piano Competition.