MATTI RAEKALLIO

MATTI RAEKALLIO

Piano

MATTI RAEKALLIO, who didn’t start playing the piano until he was 11, didn’t have much enthusiasm for it until he heard Sviatoslav Richter perform a few years later—and, he told The Journal, his life changed. At the time, he said, he couldn’t “analytically process anything of what I heard that night, but the immense energy, concentration and some kind of strange electricity of the performances gave me an experience that just wouldn’t go away.” From that moment, he started to be obsessed with music and piano playing, so much so that by age 14 or 15, “I knew that there would be no other choice for me.” Born in Helsinki, Matti grew up in nearby Turku and went abroad to study when he was 17, first in London with Maria Curcio, then at the Vienna University of Music, the Leningrad Conservatory, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he earned his D.M.A. Matti joined the Juilliard faculty in 2007 and he also teaches at Oberlin. He will be on campus the first three weeks of the season.