Lauri Väinmaa is highly appreciated as a pianist, teacher and organiser.
Väinmaa is one of the very few pupils of Mikhail Pletnev. He is a graduate of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow where he also studied with Lev Vlasenko. His other teachers include Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music in London and Bruno Lukk at the Tallinn Conservatory in Estonia. Lauri Väinmaa is the winner of the Minsk International and 5th Estonian National Piano Competitions and has received special prizes at the Scottish (in the UK) and the William Kapell International Piano Competition in the USA.
Lauri Väinmaa has recorded 4 CDs for Warner Brothers Company and made numerous recordings for other labels and radio stations such as BBC3 (complete piano music by Arvo Pärt). Väinmaa has performed in the UK, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Finland etc. He has performed with many orchestras, including the Netherlands, Finnish and Latvian Radio Symphony Orchestras, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra etc. From 2001 he performs in a piano duo with Piret Väinmaa. He is the founder of the 8 pianists ensemble Estonian Piano Orchestra.
Väinmaa’s repertoire expands from baroque to contemporary music. It includes the entire piano music of Beethoven. He has repeatedly performed the 32 sonatas and 5 concertos as cycles. Väinmaa is a distinguished performer of contemporary music. He performs complete piano music of the 2nd Viennese school, Alfred Schnittke and Arvo Pärt, Etudes by Ligeti and works by Stockhausen and Boulez. He has premiered music by numerous Estonian composers like Eino Tamberg, Jaan Rääts, Toivo Tulev, Urmas Sisask, Peeter Vähi and Ülo Krigul.
Väinmaa is the founder and Artistic Director of the Tallinn International Piano Festival since its start in 1998. The festival has the largest amount of audience among Estonian classical music festivals and is the biggest piano festival in northern countries.
Lauri Väinmaa teaches at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. From 2001 to 2010 he was simultaneously Head of Keyboard Studies at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland. He has served as a jury member in many international competitions as the Rome Chopin competition in Italy, and other competitions in Italy, Latvia, Finland, Estonia etc.
Lauri Väinmaa teaches regularly in different piano master courses in Italy, UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Estonia etc.