Lauri Kankkunen began playing cello at the tender age of five and continued his studies in the Conservatory of Tampere with Paul Husgafvel and Pauli Heikkinen. Since 2010 Kankkunen has studied in the Sibelius Academy with Martti Rousi and in 2014 in the Norge Musikhøgskole in Oslo with Truls Mørk.
In 2014 Kankkunen was a prize winner in the XII Turku cello competition.
Since 2015 Kankkunen has been the principal cello of the Tampere Philharmonia, but he is also a member of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.
Kankkunen has been playing widely as soloist and chamber musician in Finland and in Europe. He plays a Nicolas Lupo cello from 1795 on loan from the Pohjola Bank collection.