Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, bass viol, studied cello with Arto Noras at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, which awarded him its diploma in 1983. An interest in baroque music led him to a summer course in Norway with Laurence Dreyfus and later to Holland where he studied with Wieland Kuijken at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and received postgraduate diplomas in viola da gamba and baroque cello. He is active as a chamber musician and has given many solo recitals throughout Europe and Asia His recording of Marais’ Suite d’un goût d’Etranger on ALBA records won a national award for excellence in his native Finland, and his CD of contemporary gamba music, Gamba Nova, won the Emma Award for the best classical CD in Finland in 2008. Other solo CDs have likewise garnered critical acclaim, including discs of virtuoso viol music by Forqueray, Marais, and JS Bach’s gamba sonatas, the latter two issued by BIS. His special interest is in commissioning contemporary music composed for the bass viol as well as in designing and commissioning modern reproductions of viols and other string instruments built to his specifications for his company Lu-Mi Strings. Markku has been the artistic leader of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra since 2010 and founded the Vantaa Music Festival the same year. As a cellist, he performs on period cellos a wide range of repertoire, including works for cellos and violin by Bach, as well as by Baroque and Romantic composers.