In 1993 the Finnish soprano Kirsi Tiihonen finished her studies at the Sibelius Academy with Liisa Linko-Malmio. Since winning two national singing competitions (the Timo Mustakallio and the Lappeenranta), she has had many engagements with orchestras and choirs, given a number of recitals all over Finland and appeared on radio and television. She won first prize in both the 1991 international Rio de Janeiro singing competition and the 1994 international Mirjam Helin competition. In 1995 she represented Finland in the Singer of the World competition in Cardiff, where of three hundred contestants she was one of the few finalists and went on to win the prestigious Lied prize. Competition victories have brought Kirsi Tiihonen invitations to appear in Norway, Iceland, Poland, Hungary, the UK, Russia, the Netherlands, Italy, France and South Korea. She appeared with the Finnish National Opera from 1994 to 1996, during which time she sang Elisabeth in Don Carlos, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Leonora in Fidelio and Desdemona in Otello. In the following season she returned in the rôles of Helmwiege in Die Valküre and the Third Norn in Götterdämmerung at the Dutch National Opera. Her rôles also include the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, Odabella in Verdi’s Attila, Agathe in Der Freischütz and Elisabeth in Tannhäuser (Savonlinna Opera Festival 1997–98). In the period spanning 1998–2000 she took the rôles of Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes (Helsinki/Berlin), the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro (Frankfurt/Helsinki) and Senta in The Flying Dutchman (Frankfurt). Kirsi Tiihonen has also appeared as a soloist with orchestras in the major concert Halls of Europe, including the Philharmonie of St Petersburg (with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra), the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam with Ingo Metzmacher as conductor, the Royal Albert Hall, London as part of the BBC Proms, and the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy. Among the works in her concert repertoire are Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Britten’s Les illuminations, Dvořák’s Stabat mater, Schubert’s Mass in A major, Sibelius’s The Maiden in the Tower and Luonnotar (The Daughter of Nature), and Sallinen’s Four Dream Songs.