Siri Ilanko studied oboe at the Sibelius Academy under Jouko Teikari. Abroad, she has broadened her studies at the Dresden Academy of Music under Wolfgang Bemmann and Professor Wolfgang Holzhäuser and at the Norges Musikkhøgskole in Oslo under Erik Niord Larsen. Ilanko completed her oboe diploma at the Sibelius Academy in 1996 with honours and received a master’s degree in music in 1997. She was the oboe player of the Guards Band in 1997–1999 and has been the Principal Oboe in the Vaasa City Orchestra since 1999. She has also performed as a soloist in both the Guards Band and in the Vaasa City Orchestra. She is a founding member of the Wasa Quintet.