Born in Jyväskylä, Raimo Vertainen studied the accordion from the age of 6 under Alpo Pohja and from 1983 at the Conservatory of Central Finland. Since 1988, he has been instructed by Vladimir Dolgopolov. He graduated and postgraduated from the Conservatory of Central Finland with distinction, studying also under Maestro Joseph Petric.
Raimo won the Finnish Young Accordionist Championships in 1974, 76 and 78, and also shared second place at the K. V. Leino Guitar and Accordion Competition in 1986. He has performed in numerous solo concerts as well as being a soloist with various symphony orchestras.
He has studied conducting under Juhani Lamminmäki and Atso Almila.
In 1994 he founded the trailblazing accordion ensemble Trio Fratres, winning the international Castelfidardo Competition. The trio has given concerts in 16 countries playing an extremely wide-ranging programme and it has collaborated actively with various modern Finnish composers to create new repertoires for the accordion.
In 1992, he founded the Brahe Classica concert series in Raahe, where he is the artistic director.
In 1999, he founded the Kokkola Winter Accordion Festival, which is a week-long event held annually in February, where he is the artistic director and producer.
In 2011, he founded the Guardia Nueva orchestra which performs Argentinian and Finnish tango and popular music. With concerts all over Finland, Argentina and Turkey, the orchestra’s guest soloists over the years have included top Finnish performers, such as Eino Grön, Tapani Kansa, Mari Palo, Johanna Rusanen, Jorma Uotinen, Matti Korkiala, Pauliina Kumpulainen, Anu Hälvä, Tuomas Airola, Jari Silanpää, Hannu Ilmolahti, Tiina Penttinen, Merja Larivaara, etc.
In 2004, he founded the Junioriharmonikat, an accordion orchestra for children and teenagers which performs regularly at renown events his composition.
In 2003, he founded the Active Accordion Orchestra for professional accordion students and other experienced players.
The K-30rkesteri orchestra was founded in 2008 for older music hobbyists, where he is the conductor and the arranger.
He has taught at the Conservatory of Central Finland and the music institutes of Raahe, Salo, Espoo, East Helsinki, Liminka, Jokilaaksot and the Jakobstad region, as well as the Haapavesi Adult Education Centre. He is currently a teacher at the Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory, the Centria University of Applied Sciences and the Kaustinen College of Music. Vertainen’s students have been extremely successful at various musical competitions.
Awards and honours won by Vertainen:
- Kokkola Award 2006;
- Harmonikkaplaketti Award of the Sata-Häme Soi Festival 2009 for valuable work towards Finnish accordion music;
- Medal of the Order of the White Rose of Finland, First Class with golden cross, 2009;
- Tervaporvari Award 2010 from the City of Kokkola.
Raimo has a broad range of experience in music: conductor, teacher, artistic director, arranger, organiser, musician, creator of ideas. The results of his work can best be heard at any concert of the orchestras he so skilfully conducts.
His work is based on extensive, partly international studies in accordion playing. His activities as a soloist and with various ensembles have brought him several first prizes in competitions and numerous concert performances in 18 countries. His catching enthusiasm and productive energy characterise all his activities in the different musical fields he is involved in.