Markku Luolajan-Mikkola is a historically informed musician who plays various viols and historical cellos, on which he interprets a wide range of music: his repertoire ranges from the sixteenth century to the present day, and includes some of the most demanding pieces written for his instruments. He is also a pioneer: throughout his career he has embraced projects of a kind unprecedented in his home country, Finland; and his exceptionally creative and enquiring approach seeks to achieve musical expression over the simple recreation of historical musical performances and practices.
Luolajan-Mikkola has given more than a thousand concerts in 30 countries. His Gambaa! concert series, of nine different French Baroque music programmes in three countries, earned the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s Musical Act of the Year award in 2003. The series included the five suites by Antoine Forqueray as well as music from Marin Marais’ five books for bass viol and from the Nouveaux Concerts of François Couperin for treble viol. At the time of the release of this recording, Luolajan-Mikkola is touring Bach’s complete Cello Suites as well as his transcription of the violin Sonatas and Partitas. In 2015–17 he will have given a total of almost a hundred recitals in all the medieval churches of Finland.
Luolajan-Mikkola has a parallel interest in contemporary music, and believes that the future of early instruments lies not only in the music of dead composers but also in the hope that we might better understand ourselves and our time through the possibilities for expression and communication offered by those instruments. He finds inspiration in looking back to earlier times, when more or less all music performed was new; in that spirit, he has premiered more than 20 pieces, most of which he commissioned himself.