Mervi Myllyoja started playing violin in the age of five, and has stayed with her choice as it took her around the world with solo performances and onstage with top rated artists such as the singer star Tarja Turunen and the concert organist Kalevi Kiviniemi. Mervi studied mostly in Finland, under the tuition of the world famous violinist Alexander Vinnitski. Rooted firmly in the classical foundation of violin techniques, she has been able to cultivate a versatile style of playing violin to fit any music genre. Besides being a performer, she also teaches, arranges music, improvises fluently and composes her own original pieces.
Mervi Myllyoja started her freelancing career after leaving her first post as a full time violin teacher at Rauma Music Institute (2003-09). At the time she was also an assistant to her teacher Alexander Vinnitski, organizing and training the violin ensemble Unisolo in Turku Art Academy.
Mervi’s artistry has convinced the festival and concert audiences in Finland and abroad. She has appeared as a soloist and guest star on highly valued venues such as Mikkeli Music Festival, Helsinki Bach-weeks, Internationale Meisterkonzerte, New Year’s Concert in St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Bonn-Beuel, Germany. She has also played several times at Tango Frostbite, Karelian Summer Festival, Tall Ships Race and Gymnaestrada in Finland, Hermopolia Festival in Greece, astonished audiences with her improvisation skills at Perm International Organ Festival in Russia as Kalevi Kiviniemi’s duo partner (2010), and appeared as a solo violinist on Barbara Hendricks’s and Tarja Turunen’s Christmas Tours. Her partnerships also include world champion gymnastic team Olarin Voimistelijat, whose stage soundtrack Mervi produced for their broadcasted shows in 2014–15.
Mervi made her first internet debute in 2013 with her music video release ”Ya El Medan” , representing a cover for a hit song of an Egyptian rock band Cairokee. The band, that was nominated for MTV EMA in 2014, invited Mervi onstage with them due to the success of the video publication that garnered attention around the world. Mervi then profiled herself as a cosmopolite crossover violinist, and the demand for her glamorous performances and studio recordings grew. She has recorded taylored tracks for Tarja Turunen (”The Brightest Void”/2016), opera singer Juha Uusitalo, rapper Paleface, singer/songwriter Liza l’Occitane, pop singer Tomas Höglund, multi instrumentalist Mikko Helenius and Argentinian tango star Martin Alvarado to name a few.
Mervi’s partners on the production side include Samuli Laiho – a Finnish rock singer/composer, whose orchestrative signature style is heard on Mervi’s debute album Taikaviulu (2016). The album also includes an original track composed by famous The Rasmus-band bass player Eero Heinonen. Taikaviulu is essentially a crossover violin album, displaying strong influence of ethnic violin styles played by the artist. Appearing on the album and the publication concerts (Germany, Finland) were Mervi’s co-musicians, who count as few of the most demanded performers in Finland: guitarist Juha Lanu, percussionist Samuli Majamäki and accordionist Jonna Pirttijoki.
The second album – Mervi & Virva Celebrating Finland 100 years (2017) was made with a long term piano partner, diploma pianist Virva Garam. It features Hungarian and Karelian themes, and the duo has toured in Hungary (2019) for concerts with the album program. Mervi and Virva Garam have performed in recitals, at festivals, TV broadcasts and charity events. The duo’s shows have been received with enthusiasm, and they also launched a music video “Night by the Sea” as a profile release of their latest album.
Mervi takes influence from great, versatile masters of the violin, such as violinists Barnabás Kelemen, Ikuko Kawai, Laurent Korcia, Roby Lakatos and Pekka Kuusisto. She greatly enjoyes teaching violin, and offers a wide perspective to her students for the creative implementation of violin playing.