Lauri Kankkunen (born 1990), a native of Lempäälä, Finland, took up playing the cello at the age of five and went on to study at the Tampere Conservatory. Starting 2010, Kankkunen has been studying under professor Martti Rousi at the Sibelius Academy, and from 2014 also at Norges Musikkhøggskole in Oslo, Norway, under professor Truls Mørk. Kankkunen has participated in several masterclasses with teachers such as David Geringas, Gary Hoffman, Frans Helmerson, and Menahem Pressler. He has performed chamber music with musicians such as Nobuko Imai, Lars Anders Tomter, and Emmanuel Tjeknavorian.
Lauri Kankkunen is the principal cello at the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a part of Pushkin Quintet, a chamber music group that combines classical music and jazz.
Kankkunen was awarded 3rd prize at the XII Turku Cello Competition in February 2014. In the spring of 2015 he was invited to participate at the XV Tchaikovsky Competition, and in 2013, he was one of four Finnish cellists invited to the V International Paulo Cello Competition. He has performed as a soloist with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Lappeenranta City Orchestra, among others, as well as played chamber music at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the Santander International Music Festival in Spain, the Iitti Music Festival, Suvisoitto Festival in Sysmä, the Helsinki Festival, and the Kamarikesä Chamber Festival in Helsinki. Outside Finland, Kankkunen has performed in most European countries. He has received support from the Martin Wegelius Foundation, the Wihuri Foundation, the Pro Musica Foundation, the Arts Foundation of the OP Group, the Alfred Kordelin Foundation, the Cultural Foundation of Finland, and the Cultural Foundation of the Pirkanmaa province.
Lauri Kankkunen plays a cello by C. A. Gand from 1854.