Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch is an unusually versatile violinist. Though she plays music of every era, the emphasis in her repertoire is on the 17th to 19th centuries. She also plays the viola and viola d’amore as well as leads the orchestra or conducts.
After completing her studies at the Sibelius Academy (Yoshiko Arai, Jouko Heikkilä, Kaija Saarikettu) Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch has studied, among others, under Ana Chumachenko and Baroque violin with Monica Hugget and Lucy van Dael.
Kaakinen-Pilch has been active in several orchestras and ensembles, including Avanti!, Finnish Baroque Orchestra, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, Battalia, Orchestra of the 18th Century (Frans Brüggen), La Petite Bande (Sigiswald Kuijken), Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (Ton Koopman), Concerto Copenhagen (Lars-Ulrik Mortensen). She has also worked for over a decade as leader of the Collegium Vocale (Philippe Herreweghe).
Kaakinen-Pilch is nowadays in great demand as a leader of several renowned early music ensembles and orchestras, performing music of the Baroque and of the Classical period. Her solo repertoire includes such works as the 16 Mystery Sonatas by Biber, the Bach Solo Sonatas and Partitas, and solo violin works of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Kaakinen-Pilch has been Professor of Chamber Music in Stavanger, Norway, and Professor of Early Music at the Royal Danish Conservatory and the Bremen Academy of Arts. Currently she is Professor of Early Music at the Academy of Music in Krakow and Lecturer in Violin at Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Sibelius Academy. She has been a trainer for the European Union Baroque Orchestra and teaches at numerous master classes.
Ondine released two CDs by Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch during autumn 2013: Sonatas and Partitas by J. S. Bach for violin solo and Orchestral Suites by Ch. Graupner. On the second CD she is leading the orchestra and playing viola d’amore as one of the soloists. In 2014 two further recordings were released: one with Trio Sonatas by Ch. Graupner (viola d’amore) and a double CD with H. I. F. Biber’s Mystery Sonatas. Together with Tuija Hakkila she has recorded the Violin Sonatas of Thomas Byström. Her most recent recording with Ch. Graupner’s Epiphany Cantatas was released in December 2017. In this recording she is leading the Kirchheimer BachConsort and playing viola d’amore. In April 2018, an album of Johannes Brahms' Violin Sonatas was released on the Ondine label, featuring Tuija Hakkila and Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch playing original instruments. All these recordings have received wide international acclaim and excellent reviews.
The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation supports the artistic work of Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch.