Pianist, musicologist, composer and philologist of the Polish language. He has frequently appeared with recitals in Finland, Russia and Italy (e.g. at the Festival ‘Incontri di Serra Maiori’) and alongside symphony orchestras of the Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk and the Koszalin Philharmonic. As a chamber musician, he has performed at the Festival ‘Probaltica’ in Toruń, the Mikołów Music Days and the Opera Festival in Krosno. He was the artistic director of the Festival ‘Jagiellonian Summer of Art’, organised in Finland in 1999 to celebrate the Chopin Jubilee Year. He has made a number of recordings for the Finnish radio and appeared on television in Finland, Poland and Lithuania. Apart from the standard repertoire, the artist popularises lesser-known piano works, such as the Sonata No 1 by Sergei Rachmaninoff (Finnish and Polish premiere performances). He has also compiled recitals which exclusively featured works by Rachmaninoff.
Matti Asikainen is a member of numerous music societies, including the International Rachmaninoff Society, the Chopin Society of Finland, the Väinö Raitio Society and the Finnish Piano Teachers. Since 1990, he has taught piano as a lecturer of the Institute of Music at the University of Jyväskylä.
The artist has also made his name as a composer, frequently performing his own works during concerts held in Finland and Poland. He began his creative adventure writing solo and chamber compositions, such as a sonata dedicated to the memory of his first piano teacher Dmitry Hintze. He is also a composer of songs (50 in total), in which he uses texts written by Polish poets. They can be sung either in their original Polish version or in a Finnish translation of which he is the author.
Asikainen has graduated from the Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki (1985) and the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk under Prof. Zbigniew Śliwiński (1991). He has taken part in master classes conducted by such artists as Dmitri Bashkirov, Regina Smendzianka and Victor Merzhanov. He has won the Third Prize at the Hannikainen National Piano Competition and the Second Prize at the Wiener Musikseminar International Piano Competition. What is worth noting is that the pianist also has a diploma in Musicology from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland and in Polish Studies from the Slavic Institute at the University of Helsinki (1993). He has written numerous reviews and articles for musicological publications.
In recognition of his achievements in promoting Poland and Polish culture in Finland, Matti Asikainen was awarded, by President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in 2002.