Mrs. Marja Ikonen is a Finnish music educator and conductor. She received her M.A. in music from the University of Jyväskylä and her degree in conducting from the Conservatory of Central Finland and University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä under the guidance of Torsten Lindfors, Onni Kelo and Juha Törmä. Additionally, she has studied conducting with Jorma Panula, Pertti Pekkanen, Hannu Norjanen, Paul Niemistö, István Világi, Petri Komulainen, and Robert J. Ambrose. Marja Ikonen has been trained in marching skills under the direction of Pasi-Heikki Mikkola, Raine Ampuja, and Henry Perälä.
Marja Ikonen worked from 2003 to 2022 as music teacher in Rantasalmi, Finland, where she also acted as the executive music teacher at the Järvi-Saimaa Community College. Marja Ikonen was the director of the Rantasalmi Wind Bands. She also conducted musicals in the Rantasalmi Youth Theatre. Currently Marja Ikonen works as the Headmaster at Mikkeli Music Institute. Marja Ikonen is a published composer and arranger.
In 2009 the Finnish Association of Wind Bands rewarded Mrs. Ikonen with the “Baton of the Year” award for her work in promoting wind band culture in Finland. Ikonen has also received awards in music education from the municipality of Rantasalmi (2012), the Workers' Musical Organization in Finland (2014), President of the Republic of Finland (2018) and again from the Finnish Association of Wind Bands (2020).
During her time as a conductor Rantasalmi Wind Band was acknowledged as the “Band of the Year” in 2014 by the Finnish Association of Wind Bands and as the “Best Organization” by the Regional Council of South Savo in 2015. Rantasalmi Wind Bands and Musicals also received the “Art Prize” of Alfred Kordelin Foundation in 2015 and the “Sports Prize” of Southern Savonia / Rantasalmi 2019.