Irma Niskanen was born in Saint Petersburg and moved to Finland at the age of 12. She first studied modern violin in Turku under the guidance of Alexandre Vinnitsky, continuing with baroque violin studies at the Sibelius-Academy with Kreeta-Maria Kentala and Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch. She has also participated in masterclasses with Petra Muellejans and Amandine Beyer. Niskanen studied chamber music with Andrew Lawrence-King, Tuija Hakkila, and Malcolm Bilson.
Niskanen is one of the concertmasters of Orkester Nord, Finnish Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Nylandia, and The Musicians of the King’s Road. As a guest concertmaster, she has performed with Les Ambassadeurs and Solamente Naturali among others and is currently starting a collaboration with Casa da Música Porto. In addition, Irma regularly works with Il Pomo d’Oro, Arte dei Suonatori, Orchester Wiener Akademie, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, and Bach Consort Wien. In 2009, Niskanen was chosen to be a member of the European Union Baroque Orchestra and invited again the following year. With these ensembles she has performed under the baton of Reinhard Goebel, Enrico Onofri, Ton Koopman, Chiara Banchini, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Sigiswald Kuijken, Skip Sempe, Maxim Emelyanychev and has taken part in award-winning recordings for Erato, Naxos, Alpha, BIS, ALBA, Ondine, and Aeolus.
Being a passionate chamber musician, Irma Niskanen has performed baroque, classical, early romantic, and contemporary music in various festivals and concerts around Europe. She has first performed and recorded several contemporary works for historical instruments. In 2013, Niskanen was in the finals of the International Young Artist Presentation chamber music competition in Belgium. During her studies and her artistic career, Niskanen has been generously supported with grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, as well as private cultural foundations.