Born in Finland, conductor and violinist Ari Rasilainen studied with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy. He also studied with Arvid Jansons (conducting) and Alexander Labko (violin) in Berlin. In 1989, Rasilainen was awarded the second prize at the Malko Competition, Copenhagen. Before he started his career as a conductor, he played the violin at the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and at the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2002–09, Rasilainen was the Chief Conductor of the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. Previously he was Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
Ari Rasilainen regularly conducts the principal Scandinavian orchestras, as well as the orchestras in Europe, among which include the Belgium Radio Phil-harmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.