Ilmari Räikkönen studied at the Sibelius Academy under Professor Liisa Pohjola and took his piano diploma with distinction in 2002. He has since attended masterclasses with José Ribera, Niel Immelmann, Nina Svetlanova and others and studied jazz at the Espoo Music Institute. His teachers in Lied have included Ilmo Ranta, Gustav Djupsjöbacka, Hartmut Höll and Roger Vignoles, and he has been the accompanist of such front-line Finnish singers as Jorma Hynninen, Marjukka Tepponen, Ville Rusanen, Johanna Rusanen-Kartano and Hannu Jurmu. Since 2002 he has himself taught in the Sibelius Academy’s Department of Vocal Music.
Winner of the Kokkola Lied Duo Competition in 1999 with Markus Nieminen, Ilmari Räikkönen took the first prize in the Erkki Melartin Lied Duo Competition in 2002 with Ville Rusanen. He won the Kangasniemi competition for Lied pianists in 2001. He has been a pianist at all the leading singing competitions in Finland and at the Savonlinna Opera Festival, and has given solo piano and Lied recitals in the USA, Japan and Europe.
In addition to his classical repertoire, Ilmari Räikkönen has distinguished himself in jazz and light music as a member of many ensembles. He is a producer for Louhi Productions and can be heard as a pianist on numerous discs and in recordings by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle).