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Iiro Rantala

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Biography of Iiro Rantala

"Iiro Rantala is a pianistic sensation who makes the strongest case I know to believe in reincarnation because his pianistic technique and musical sensitivity speak of depths which appear impossible to have been achieved in this lifetime alone...." - Gil Goldstein, pianist and arranger, NY.

After touring the world for 18 years with Trio Töykeät, Finnish piano virtuoso Iiro Rantala is refreshingly still at the forefront of international pianism. The energetic keyboard lion crosses musical genres with style, ease and excitement, playing at his exhilarating and adventurous best. Definitely entertaining, zany, unconventional and occasionally wicked, but always uncompromising.

Iiro Rantala is among the most internationally visible Finnish musicians, and is second to none when it comes to unsurpassable keyboard technique and flaring showmanship. The pianist first became infected by music in the Finnish children's choir Cantores Minores at the age of seven, and not long afterwards was taking piano lessons. Iiro’s piano studies took him to the Oulunkylä Pop/Jazz Institute, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and also included studying piano at the Manhattan School of Music in New York for two years in the early 1990s. Rantala is best known as the founder and pianist of Trio Töykeät, Finland's most famous and longest running jazz group (until 2006), which became one of the biggest success stories in Finnish jazz, and gave over 2.000 concerts in 40 countries since 1988, and released eight albums. The pianist has been the winner of all major jazz awards in Finland during his more than 20 year career.

Exploring the boundaries between musical genres is a strong characteristic of Rantala’s artistic personality. He appears in Finland with symphony orchestras, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Mozart’s No.23 piano concerto, and his own Concerto in G#majAs, first premiered in 2003 with the Tapiola Sinfonietta. Rantala’s creative diversity has also seen him intensively engaged with music for children’s theatre, as well as performing with cross-over classical musicians, including the Finnish vocal group Rajaton, and recently as a tango duo with world renowned virtuoso violinist Pekka Kuusisto.

Iiro Rantala has hosted his own music talk show on the Finnish national broadcaster YLE, started 2006 and continious today.

Since 2010 Iiro Rantala has focused on the development of his solo piano career. His ACT debut “Lost Heroes” is his first solo recording and a very personal homage to outstanding musicians in history like Jean Sibelius, Esbjörn Svensson, Oscar Peterson, Jaco Pastorius and Luciano Pavarotti.

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