“A violinist whose rare gift is to become, rather than perform, the music he plays” (The Guardian), Pekka Kuusisto is internationally renowned as both soloist and director, and for his fresh approach to the repertoire. An advocate of new music, Kuusisto regularly works with composers such as Nico Muhly and Thomas Adès. He gave the world premiere of Sebastian Fagerlund’s Violin Concerto and his recording of the work with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Hannu Lintu is scheduled for release on BIS in early 2015.
The 2014/15 season includes debuts with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig and Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia. He also directs The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen on a tour of South America. Recent orchestral engagements include the Cincinnati, Singapore, City of Birmingham, Finnish Radio and Toronto Symphony orchestras; the Philharmonia and Royal Stockholm and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras; and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra.
Collaborating with performers across the artistic spectrum, this season Kuusisto joins forces with dancers Kaari Martin (flamenco) and Minna Tervamäki (ballet) and pianist Heini Kärkkäinen for a choreographed interpretation of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, to be performed at the 2015 Dresdner Musikfestspiele. With the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard, Kuusisto has also devised a project for the 150th anniversary of Sibelius’ birth, presenting the composer’s works alongside traditional songs and poems from Karelia.
Kuusisto regularly directs ensembles from the violin, including the Mahler, Saint Paul, Australian, and Irish Chamber orchestras. His recent chamber partners include Iiro Rantala,Anne Sofie von Otter, Kimmo Pohjonen, Nicolas Altstaedt and Kuusisto’s traditional music group, The Luomu Players.
Pekka Kuusisto is Artistic Director of 'Our Festival', based in Sibelius’ home town, which was named Festival of the Year by Finland Festivals in 2011 and later awarded the State of Finland Music Prize for its innovative programming. This season he presents two projects which were originally developed at Our Festival in his debut appearance at The Schubert Club inMinnesota.
Kuusisto has enjoyed a number of prestigious residencies, including the Aldeburgh Festivaland the Robeco Zomerconcerten of Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. He is a previous ‘Junge Wilde’ artist at the Konzerthaus Dortmund.
His most recent CD on Ondine features Lindberg’s Violin Concerto with the Tapiola Sinfonietta (where he was Artistic Partner 2006-2013). Other Ondine recordings include Rautavaara’s complete works for violin and piano with Paavali Jumppanen and works by Paganini with guitarist Ismo Eskelinen. Other discs include 'Subterraneo' featuring Finnish tango works withIiro Rantala (Liverace) and 'Kiestinki', an album written and performed with Finnish singerPaula Vesala, about the experience of Finnish women on the front line during World War II(KHY Suomen Musiikki).
In 2013, Pekka Kuusisto was the recipient of the Nordic Council Music Prize, with the adjudicators describing him as “a violinist in the absolute elite”.
He plays a Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini violin of 1752 kindly loaned by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
2014/15 season only. Please contact HarrisonParrott