Swedish pianist Matti Hirvonen has specialized as a collaborative pianist since he was a student, and is today widely regarded as one of the leading accompanists in Scandinavia, equally comfortable in all forms of chamber music.
Hirvonen's career began at the invitation of the famous soprano Elisabeth Söderström. He has since then performed extensively with singers Nina Stemme, Hillevi Martinpelto, Miah Persson, Anna Larsson, Angelika Kirschschlager, Katarina Karnéus, Ida Falk Winland, Ann Hallenberg, Charlotte Hellekant, Håkan Hagegård, Peter Mattei, Wolfgang Holzmair, and Bo Skovhus, among many others.
Equally comfortable collaborating with instrumentalists, Hirvonen has performed in recital with violinists Isabelle van Keulen, Zachar Bron, and Leon Spierer, cellists Truls Mørk and Maria Kliegel, and clarinetists Michael Collins and Karl Leister.
A frequent guest at festivals throughout Europe, such as Edinburgh, Grafenegg, Aix-en Provence, and Schleswig-Holstein, Hirvonen performs at major venues such as the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Philharmonie Köln, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonie Luxemburg, Oper Frankfurt, Laieszhalle Hamburg, and Weill Recital Hall in New York. He has also performed extensively in Japan.
Hirvonen appears on many CD recordings, including Schubert Lieder, Scandinavian songs, piano music by Schumann and Schubert, Scandinavian contemporary piano music (premiering works which were written and dedicated to him), Poulenc's trio, and Schubert's Trout Quintet.
In July 2016 he was appointed Professor of Collaborative piano at Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts in the United States.
Previously, he was professor of accompaniment at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and has held similar positions at the Royal Colleges of Music in London and Stockholm.
He has given master classes in the art of Lieder for both pianists and singers at the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg, Cleveland Institute of Music, the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen.
As a testament to his outstanding achievements within Swedish music, Hirvonen was in 2014 awarded the royal medal Litteris et Artibus by His Majesty Karl Gustav XVI.
Hirvonen studied piano, accompaniment, and chamber music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and privately in London. His teachers include Liisa Pohjola, Robert Riefling, Peter Feuchtwanger, and Geoffrey Parsons. He has also participated in master classes given by Andras Schiff, Dalton Baldwin, Tatiana Nikolaieva.