Pekka Kuusisto

Violinist, conductor and composer Pekka Kuusisto is renowned for his artistic freedom and fresh approach to repertoire. Widely recognised for his flair in directing ensembles, Kuusisto is Artistic Director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (from season 21/22), Artistic Partner with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He is also Artistic Director of the ACO Collective and Artistic Best Friend of Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.

Highlights of the 2019/20 season include concerto appearances with the NDR Elbphilharmonie, Chicago Symphony Orhestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Symphony Orchestra Gothenburg, MDR-Sinfonieorchestewr, Swedish Radio and Finnish Radio symphony orchestras, and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich where he is an artist “In Focus”. Kuusisto returns as violinist-director-conductor to the Tapiola Sinfonietta, and the Norwegian, Swedish and Scottish Chamber Orchestras. He is the main guest artist for Amsterdam’s annual Prinsengrachtconcert joining the Camerata of the Concertgebouworkest for the largest classical open-air concert in the Netherlands, and co-curator of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s residency at Heidelberger Frühling 2020.

The Finnish violinist is an enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music. This season he will perform the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s violin concerto co-commissioned by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Recital Centre, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra with the kind support of the MCO Foundation and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He also performs concertos written for him including Daníel Bjarnason’s Violin Concerto and Anders Hillborg’s “Bach Materia”. In recent seasons, Kuusisto has also premiered new works by Sauli Zinovjev, Philip Venables and Andrea Tarrodi.

Kuusisto is a gifted improviser and regularly engages with people across the artistic spectrum. Uninhibited by conventional genre boundaries and noted for his innovative programming, recent projects have included collaborations with Hauschka & Samuli Kosminen, Dutch neurologist Erik Scherder, pioneer of electronic music Brian Crabtree, eminent jazz-trumpeter Arve Henriksen, juggler Jay Gilligan, accordionist Dermot Dunne and folk artist Sam Amidon.

He has worked with South-Korean artist Aamu Song on the project “Reddress” which blurs boundaries between performance and visual art. Together with Samuli Kosminen, Kuusisto co-composed the score to the new animated Moominvalley television series. He has also collaborated with Cannes award winning director Juho Kuosmanen in the Greenpeace campaign film “The Elegy of the Forest”.

Kuusisto has released several recordings, notably for Ondine and BIS.

As of May 2020

Pekka Kuusisto

© Felix Broede

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