Curriculum vitae


Markus Hallikainen (1987) is a finnish cellist who is known of a versatile career. He has performed in Finland and abroad as a soloist, and a chamber musician.

He started playing cello at the age of five as a student of Helli Seppä. 1997 - 2002 he studied in Espoo Music Institute under Heikki Pekkarinen and Heikki Rautasalo. In 2002 he continued his studies at the Sibelius Academy Youth Department with Hannu Kiiski and in 2007 he was accepted into the Soloistic Department. Markus graduated from Bachelors Degree under prof. Arto Noras in 2013 and after that he continued his studies with prof. Martti Rousi. In 2015 Markus had an opportunity to continue his studies at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste with prof. Raphael Wallfisch. Markus graduated and received the Soloist Diploma in 2017. In 2020 he finished his Masters degree at the Sibelius Academy, University of the arts (Finland). He also received pedagogical qualification.

Markus has participated in many masterclasses of leading cellists. Among those are Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Ivan Monighetti, Antonio Meneses, Frans Helmersson, David Geringas and Robert Cohen. He has also studied chamber music with such as Paavo Pohjola, Marko Ylönen, Kopelman Quartet, Isabel Charissius, Juilliard String Quartet, Oslo String Quartet, Alexei Orgrintchouk, Phillip Grafin, Jean-Louis Capezzali, Eckart Heiligers, Claudio Martinez Mehner, Martti Rautio, Peter Csaba, Zachar Bron.

For 2016-2017 Markus received the full Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship for fine arts. He was the finalist of Turku 2014 Cello Competition and received also 2nd prize at ZHdK Contemporary music competition in 2015.  Markus has also been supported by many major Finnish foundations. Honorary mentions and other support he has received from such as Rotary Foundation, Espoo Music Institute, Sibelius-Academy, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste and For Young Musicians Foundation.

As a soloist Markus has performed with Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (Finland), Kuopio City Orchestrra (Finland), Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra (Czech Republic) and many other smaller chamber orchestras in Finland. As a chamber musician Markus has performed at festivals such as Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival (USA), Amsterdam CelloBienale (Netherlands), Encounter of Music and Academy of Santander (Spain), International Mendelssohn Festival (Germany), White Nights -festival, (Russia), Time of Music Festival (Finland), Naantali Music Festival, Mikkeli Music Festival, Sysmä Suvisoitto. He has also perfomed in other festivals and events in Finland and European countries.

Markus has work experience in many orchestras in Finland (Helsinki Philharmonic and Radio Symphony Orchestra). He has also worked as substitute: a solo cellist in Vaasa City Orchestra, as a guest section leader in Tampere Philharmonic and a 3rd solo cellist in Turku Philharmonic. In addition he has appeared as a solo cellist in many projects in Finland and abroad.

Contemporary music has played a big part in his life, already since early years. Markus has co-operated with many composers and performers and has had guidance from such as Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, Shih, Lars Mlekusch and Anssi Karttunen. Markus has also studied barock cello with Martin Zeller in Zürich. Versatility also comes out in working with the music of other cultures and styles. Markus has been involved in many different projects and has been active in arranging music.

Markus is the founder and the artistic director of Varkauden KesäKlassinen (Varkaus SummerClassical), there has appered international artists such as Raphael Wallfisch. In 2018 the festival had an honor to deliver the Finnish Premiere of Weinberg Cello Concertino. Varkauden KesäKlassinen festival received a Cultural Special Award of the city of Varkaus in 2022.

Through the work as an artistic director Markus has experience in artist management, organisational skills and giving presentations. Markus has represented his festival in many occasions and is working together with many cultural operators. 

Teaching is an important part of his career. He is a cello lecturer at Keski-Helsingin Musiikkiopisto (Central Helsinki Music Institute). During the years Markus has encouraged and taught many students of all ages. He has also done research about the meaning of mental images and parables in cello pedagogy. He leads cello groups that have performed in Finland and Estonia. 

Markus plays on a fine instrument by J. Derazey 1875.

A Short CV in Finnish