Markku Laakso is one of the most interesting Finnish conducting talents of today. In January 2010 he conducted a highly successful debut with the St. Petersburg State Kapella Symphony Orchestra and also made his operatic debut in Helsinki conducting the performances of a new Sibafest production of La Contadina by Hasse-Pergolesi.

Markku Laakso was trained as an operatic and symphonic conductor at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory "N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov" where his teacher was Maestro Leonid Korchmar of the Mariinsky Theater. Since 2006 he has continued his studies with prof. Leif Segerstam at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

In 2007 he became the first Finnish conducting fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, Colorado, USA, working and performing intensively under the supervision of Maestro David Zinman. At the Aspen Music Festival he served as an assistant and cover conductor of the Aspen Chamber Symphony under Rossen Milanov. In 2009 he studied with Gianluigi Gelmetti at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. His other teachers include Murry Sidlin, Maurizio Dones, Georg Mark, Osmo Vänskä, Larry Rachleff, Leonard Slatkin and Atso Almila.

Markku Laakso has conducted many orchestras in Russia, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Spain, Poland, Great Britain, Canada, USA and Finland, including St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Congress Orchestra, Podlasie Philharmonic, Oradea Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Festival Orchestra and City Orchestras of Seinäjoki, Vaasa and Jyväskylä.

Born in Lappeenranta, Finland, Markku Laakso is also an accomplished violinist with a vast experience in orchestral playing, and he holds a degree in violin performance from the Sibelius Academy.