Jussi Makkonen (b.1979) began his studies on the violoncello at the age of seven in the Music Institute of Northern Karelia, Finland. In 1996 he embarked on university studies at the Sibelius Academy with Professor Martti Rousi, graduating from the Academy in 2005 with a Master’s degree in Music. In addition, he studied conducting with the world-famous conductor Jorma Panula. Makkonen was awarded First Prize in the national EBU Competition for Young Soloists, and since then has performed throughout Finland and in most European countries, as well as in the USA. In addition, he has performed on radio and television programmes of the EBU, the BBC, the YLE (the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation) and the Romanian radio.
Makkonen is also active in chamber music, and performs with such leading musicians as pianists Folke Gräsbeck, Risto Lauriala, Violeta Petrova and Rait Karm. Sponsors in recent years include the OKO Bank, the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Sibelius Academy. Makkonen plays a 200-year-old German cello courtesy of the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Wihuri Foundation.