Aarre Merikanto (29 June 1893 Helsinki–28 September 1958 Helsinki) was a Finnish composer. He was the son of Liisa Häyrynen and composer Oskar Merikanto. Along with Einojuhani Rautavaara and Jean Sibelius, he is one of the most important Finnish composers.

Aarre Merikanto studied music in Helsinki in 1911, at the Leipzig Conservatory under Max Reger (1912–1914) and in Moscow (1916–1917). He tried composing an opera for the first time at the age of 18. The result was the one-act opera Helena composed to Jalmari Finne’s libretto, which was completed in early 1912. His earliest compositions were romantic, but in the 1920s he developed his own modernist style. He was awarded the Pro Finlandia medal in 1948. From 1951 until his death, Merikanto was professor of composition at the Sibelius Academy, where his students included e.g. Einojuhani Rautavaara, Ilkka Kuusisto, Aulis Sallinen, Usko Meriläinen, Jaakko Linjama and Paavo Heininen. In 1957, Merikanto heard his first opera Juha, composed between 1920 and 1922, performed when its third act was played on the radio in 1957. The first and second acts were played on the radio in 1958, a couple of months after the composer’s death. Merikanto was diagnosed with lung cancer in the summer of 1957, and he died of his illness in September 1958.