Ari-Pekka began his percussion studies under Pauli Hämäläinen at West Uusimaa Music Institute. His vocational studies began at the Helsinki Conservatory, continuing at the Sibelius Academy under Markku Hannola, Lassi Erkkilä and Tapio ‘Mongo’ Aaltonen. He completed his Master of Music degree with distinction in 1999, continuing his education in Berlin and Milan under such teachers as professor David Searcy.
He has subsequently served as an assisting or stand-in musician with almost all of Finland’s city orchestras, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Finnish National Opera and the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as a chamber musician at all of the leading Finnish music festivals, serving regularly with the Savonlinna Opera Festival Orchestra since 2001.
Mäenpää premiered Kalevi Aho’s Sieidi Concerto for Solo Percussion and Orchestra in Turku in 2016.