Laura Mikkola studied at the Sibelius Academy, the Curtis Institute of Music and Indiana University Bloomington with Tapani Valsta, Menahem Pressler, Gary Graffman and Ferenc Rados. Mikkola has won many prizes, including Second Prize and the Public Prize at the 1995 Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition. She was also awarded First Prize at the 1988 Maurice Ravel Piano Competition, the 1992 Maj Lind Piano Competition and the 1994 Unisa Transnet International Piano Competition, and the Young Artist Prize in Finland in 1995.
Mikkola has worked as a soloist with several orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), Czech Philharmonic and Cairo Symphony Orchestra, with eminent conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leif Segerstam, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pierre Bartholomée, Mikko Franck, Hannu Lintu and Ahmed El Saedi.
Mikkola has 64 piano concertos in her repertoire. She has worked with and given the first performances of pieces by numerous composers including David Matthews, Kaija Saariaho, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jouko Tötterström, David Chaillou, Gabriel Yared, Magnus Lindberg and Thomas Adès. Her discography comprises 15 releases, and her album featuring Rautavaara’s Piano Concerto No. 1 was chosen as Editor’s Choice by both Gramophone magazine and Classic FM. Since 2003, she has been the artistic director of the Iitti Music Festival in Finland.