Mika Rännäli earned his Master of Music degree at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he studied with Eero Heinonen, Matti Raekallio and Ralf Gothóni. He then continued his studies at the Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Nina Svetlanova. He has since established himself as one of the most extraordinary and intriguing artists of his generation, who has been described as a "phenomenal artist" (Gothenburg Post, Sweden), who "plays with boisterous energy as well as with lyrical serenity" (Birmingham Post, England). After winning the Artist International Auditions in New York, he played his New York debut at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in December 1999, prompting Harris Goldsmith, the critic of The New York Concert Review to write: "Mika Rannali, gave a truly impressive account of himself. Although he is a technically exciting virtuoso, Rannali "plays like a composer" in the best sense: His wonderfully penetrating lucidity unfailingly clarified the style, content, emotional ambience and architectural structure of all the music he chose to illuminate. Along with an impetuosity and charisma that frequently put this listener in mind of his similarly provocative landsman, Olli Mustonen — not to mention Glenn Gould and Horowitz..."
Mr. Rännäli has toured extensively in Scandinavia, central and southern Europe, Japan and the USA. He has appeared with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Sinfonia Lahti, the Tampere Philharmonic, the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, the Oulu Symphony Orchestra, the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, the Greenwich Symphony, the Biel-Bienne Symphony Orchestra (Switzerland), and the Flawiler Chamber Orchestra (Switzerland). He has won many competitions in his native Finland, including the first national Leevi Madetoja Piano Competition at the age of eighteen, followed by The Helmi-Vesa Competition, as well as a special award in The Kuhmo International Duo Competition.
Mika Rännäli is also a composer. His works have been premiered by and dedicated to the top Finnish artists and have seen their world premieres at prestigious venues such as the Carnegie Hall. His oeuvre consists mainly of piano works in addition to some vocal and string compositions.
Mika Rännäli’s recordings of main stream repertoire and rarities alike have garnered critical acclaim in many major classical publications such as Gramophone magazine and American Record Guide. Very close to Mr. Rännäli’s heart is the CD, Intimate Garden, which is a live recording and a world-premiere recording of the complete piano works by the Finnish composer Leevi Madetoja on Alba Records.
As an artist, Mika Rännäli has an extremely varied musical and artistic background. He has studied the violin, trumpet and piano. In addition, he has been a three-time national Champion in Latin American-style and ballroom dancing in Finland.
For seven years (2002-2008) Mr. Rännäli served as the Artistic Director of the Oulu Music Festival close to the Arctic Circle in Finland.