Aimo Känkänen, Finnish composer, organist and founder of the Lahti Organ Festival, was born 1922 in Muolaa, Carelia. He began his music studies 1938 in Vyborg, but the war broke out and interrupted them, and he spent the years 1940-44 at the front. He resumed his studies in Helsinki where he graduated as cantor-organist in 1947. Känkänen's first post as organist was in Rauma, a city on the west coast of Finland, where he worked in 1950-53. Here he prepared his organ diploma, which he received 1952 in the Sibelius Academy, and gave his debut recital in Helsinki the same year. In 1959 he was elected organist at the Keski-Lahti Parish; from this post he retired in 1985.