Jussi Makkonen began playing the cello at Pielinen-Karelia Music Institute in Lieksa, and completed his Master’s degree in Music at the Sibelius Academy in 2005. After winning the Finnish try-outs for the Eurovision Young Musicians competition in 1996, Jussi Makkonen has been a performer in demand, both in Finland and abroad.
In 2008, Makkonen’s first Sibelius record was released for international distribution by the record label Naxos. After this, Makkonen has performed Sibelius’ music to hundreds of thousands of listeners in his concerts in Finland, most European countries, South-East Asia, the United States, and Canada. He has appeared on music programs of numerous TV and radio stations in Finland, the USA, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Romania.
Makkonen has appeared, among others, at a reception given by the President of the Republic of Finland at Mäntyniemi, at events held by the Finnish Parliament, and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and at numerous Finnish embassies in Europe, Asia and the United States. As of 2013, Makkonen has been performing mainly with pianist Nazig Azezian. They have produced music videos with Aira Vehaskari, and participated in the creation of the Melody Forest children’s picture book with Katri Kirkkopelto. In January 2015, Makkonen and Azezian’s Sibelius’ anniversary record was released with the theme “Back to the landscapes of Sibelius’ honeymoon”. Between 2008 and 2015, Jussi Makkonen led the Pielinen soi festival with his brother, cello artist Matti Makkonen. In December 2014, the Sibelius Society of Hämeenlinna granted Makkonen an award for his work for the Finnish culture.
Jussi Makkonen plays a 1757 Henry Jay cello.