Eija Kankaanranta is one of the most celebrated performer-players of the kantele, a traditional Finnish plucked string instrument. She is also a specialist in contemporary music and improvisation. She has introduced the works of numerous composers, including Asta Hyvärinen, Michael Finnissy, Jukka Tiensuu, Lotta Wannäkoski, Juhani Nuorvala and Kaija Saariaho. She became the first classical kantele performer to earn a doctorate at the Sibelius Academy in 2009. She has performed as a soloist with the Avanti Chamber Orchestra, the Pori Sinfonietta, the Joensuu City Orchestra and the Netherlands Wind Ensemble. She has also played the kantele in a number of other ensembles, including the Uusinta Chamber Ensemble, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble and the Athelas Sinfonietta of Copenhagen. In 2007, she recorded Griffur, a solo CD. In 2017, she received a grant from the Arts Promotion Centre Finland. She regularly performs in duet with the flutist Camilla Hoitenga. Eija Kankaanranta received the support of Koistinen Kantele ltd. for her instruments.