Tuomas Nikkanen (b.1981) studied in the Sibelius-Academy graduating in 2010 (Master of Music). His teachers include Liisa Pohjola, Juhani Lagerspetz and Erik T. Tawaststjerna (son of the famous biographer of Sibelius, Erik Tawastsjerna). His studies in Sibelius-Academy also included lessons in composition under Finnish composer Tapio Nevanlinna. Nikkanen has also taken part of two master classes held by the renown Finnish pianist, composer and conductor Olli Mustonen. Laszlo Simon, a friend and a mentor from whom he also got private lessons, considered Nikkanen the best of his generation of Finnish pianists. Nikkanen has also been a member of a group focused on new pianomusic and performing practices led by Finnish pianist Tuija Hakkila called PianoNow.
His international successes include a prize of ”The Best Youngest Performer” in the International Artur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Bydgoszscz, Poland and a prize of the best performance of a Lithuanian pianowork in the International Ciurlionis Competition in Vilno, Lithuania. He was also one of the youngest finalists in the history of the Finnish Maj Lind-Pianocompetition at the age of 16 in 1997 and the winner along with the cellist Timo-Veikko Valve of the Juvenalia chamber music- competition of 1998 in Espoo, Finland.
At present, Nikkanen is one of most active musicians in Hämeenlinna, ”The World Capital of Sibelius”. His duties also include a vice presidency of the board of a Hämeenlinna chamber music society and the president of the Iittalan Musiikin Kesä-Society (Society of Iittala Music festival). He has also a great influence in organizing concerts and cultural events of his hometown, Hämeenlinna which is also the town where Jean Sibelius was born. Tuomas Nikkanen made in 2015 a recording of all the Ten pieces op.24 and the Piano sonata op.12 of Sibelius that was recorded in the actual Birthplace of Sibelius in Hämeenlinna. In 2016 Nikkanen was awarded with the Sibelius Birthplace medal by the Sibelius-society of Hämeenlinna for his work and interpetrations of the life work of Jean Sibelius.
The repertoire of Tuomas Nikkanen is wide-ranging. One could mention Mozart, which he prefers playing with period instruments, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann and other great romantics, pianomusic of Sibelius and other Finnish composers of the same period such as Toivo Kuula, music of the 20th century composers such as Prokofiev, Rahmaninov, Szymanowski, Messiaen, Boulez and Lutoslawski among others. He works also closely with contemporary composers such as Sampsa Ertamo and also is a member of the ”Ears Open”-society founded among others, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kaija Saariaho.
Nikkanen also plays lots of lied and chamber music and is an active partner of another Price Rubin & partners- artist, soprano Riitta Muikku.
”Tuomas Nikkanen belongs definately to the forefront of Finnish pianists. A full audience got what it expected, a whole-hearted and soulful interpetration of the Chopin second concerto played with abandoment, a proof of skill rarely heard in Hämeenlinna.” - Vesa Rasta; Janakkalan Ilves
”TUOMAS NIKKANEN STARTLED AS A SOLOIST
”....it seemed as this 16-year old super-talent didn't realize how difficult work he was playing. Of course he did, but he managed to create an impression of facility.”- Hannu-Ilari Lampila; Helsingin sanomat
”Tuomas Nikkanen fought himself to the finals with an unhingedly tumultuos interpetration of the Rachmaninov Second Sonata. This 16-year old talent managed also to stop beside the russian yerning. In Nikkanen culminated also the enchantment of youth: a teddybear pulled out of a nursery playing with a big unbreakable tone music that Horowitz held as his worehorse. That could a grandpa like me only watch and listen with an envy.”- Jukka Isopuro; Helsingin Sanomat
”Tuomas Nikkanen did what one would like to hear in a concert. It is about an artist throwing him/herself in the music, that the artist has courage to follow the emotions of the music and as a result pulling the audience with him/her. And that is exactly what Nikkanen did. The audience can just enjoy!- Anja Kuoppa, Uusi Suomi
”The Vipunen of Sampsa Ertamo got its first performance by Tuomas Katajala and Tuomas Nikkanen and was performed magnificently. Nikkanen played the piano part with a wonderful virtuosity and the performance could have easily been recorded then and there.”- Erkki Korhonen; Sibelius-society newsletter