Home / Performances / Soloists / Pekka Kuusisto
Pekka Kuusisto

Pekka Kuusisto (violin) , Finland

 

"The young Finn produced some of the most spontaneous and out-of-the-box violin playing and musical interpretation I have heard"

- The Herald, February 2010

Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto is internationally renowned both as soloist and director and is recognised for his fresh approach to the repertoire. Also a strong advocate of new music, Pekka regularly collaborates with composers of today, including Sebastian Fagerlund and Nico Muhly.

In the 2011/12 season, Pekka performs Lindberg's Violin Concerto with the Sibelius Academy Orchestra as part of the new Helsinki Music Centre's opening celebrations. Other highlights include concerts with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi), and the Toronto Symphony and Ulster orchestras. In February 2012, Pekka embarks on an international tour performing the Adès Violin Concerto with the Britten Sinfonia, conducted by the composer.

Pekka gave the world premiere of Nico Muhly's Impossible Things alongside tenor Mark Padmore and the Britten Sinfonia in February 2010, as well as the first performance of Muhly's Drones & Violin at the Storioni Festival in Eindhoven in January 2011. Other premieres have included the Finnish premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the world premiere of Rijnvos's Violin Concerto in the Zaterdag Matinee series. In 2012, he will give the world premiere of a new concerto written for him by Owen Pallett at the Barbican Centre in London.

As Artistic Director of ‘Our Festival', Pekka creates an innovative programme of events each summer. Based in the home town of Sibelius, Järvenpää, it was selected as "Festival of the Year" by Finland Festivals in 2011, and included Barbara Hannigan performing Britten's Les Illuminations in the opening concert, and a choreographed performance of Sibelius's Violin Concerto with two dancers, featuring Sibelius's own arrangement of the work for violin and piano. Previous programming highlights have included the premiere of the ‘Tanabata' project and the ‘Reddress' installation by Korean artist Aamu Song. Pekka also set up ‘Our Orchestra' enabling the musicians who had taken part in his festival could continue to collaborate throughout the year. He has been Artist-in-Residence with the Tapiola Sinfonietta since September 2006.

Pekka regularly directs from the violin, working with ensembles such as the Australian, London, Scottish and Irish Chamber Orchestras, as well as the Münchener Kammerorchester. Last season, he also directed the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and Amsterdam Sinfonietta for the first time.

Pekka has enjoyed a number of prestigious residencies, including one at the Muziekgebouw Eindhoven throughout the 2010/11 season, and most recently at the Aldeburgh Festival. He oversaw the programming for the 2011 Avanti! Summer Sounds Festival and next summer will perform multiple concerts at the Concertgebouw's Robeco Summer Concert Series. Pekka champions the use of accompanying art forms in his performances, including light, electronics, film and dance, as seen in recent projects with Valgeir Sigurðsson and accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen. One of the Konzerthaus Dortmund's "Junge Wilde" artists, Pekka's most recent concert featured the world premiere of the chamber work Rush by Sebastian Fagerlund, and his final concert in May 2012 features singer Anna-Mari Kähärä and his traditional music group, the Luomu Players.

Pekka's most recent CD features the complete works for violin and piano by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara with pianist Paavali Jumppanen (Ondine). Other recent CDs include works for violin and guitar by Niccolo Paganini with guitarist Ismo Eskelinen (Ondine) and "Subterraneo", Finnish tango works with jazz pianist Iiro Rantala (Liverace). His recording of Lindberg's Violin Concerto will be released on the Ondine label in 2012. Pekka also features in 4, a DVD documentary about Vivaldi's Four Seasons, presenting Winter in the snowscapes of Lapland.
Pekka Kuusisto (violin), Finland

"The young Finn produced some of the most spontaneous and out-of-the-box violin playing and musical interpretation I have heard"

- The Herald, February 2010

Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto is internationally renowned both as soloist and director and is recognised for his fresh approach to the repertoire. Also a strong advocate of new music, Pekka regularly collaborates with composers of today, including Sebastian Fagerlund and Nico Muhly.

In the 2011/12 season, Pekka performs Lindberg's Violin Concerto with the Sibelius Academy Orchestra as part of the new Helsinki Music Centre's opening celebrations. Other highlights include concerts with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi), and the Toronto Symphony and Ulster orchestras. In February 2012, Pekka embarks on an international tour performing the Adès Violin Concerto with the Britten Sinfonia, conducted by the composer.

Pekka gave the world premiere of Nico Muhly's Impossible Things alongside tenor Mark Padmore and the Britten Sinfonia in February 2010, as well as the first performance of Muhly's Drones & Violin at the Storioni Festival in Eindhoven in January 2011. Other premieres have included the Finnish premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the world premiere of Rijnvos's Violin Concerto in the Zaterdag Matinee series. In 2012, he will give the world premiere of a new concerto written for him by Owen Pallett at the Barbican Centre in London.

As Artistic Director of ‘Our Festival', Pekka creates an innovative programme of events each summer. Based in the home town of Sibelius, Järvenpää, it was selected as "Festival of the Year" by Finland Festivals in 2011, and included Barbara Hannigan performing Britten's Les Illuminations in the opening concert, and a choreographed performance of Sibelius's Violin Concerto with two dancers, featuring Sibelius's own arrangement of the work for violin and piano. Previous programming highlights have included the premiere of the ‘Tanabata' project and the ‘Reddress' installation by Korean artist Aamu Song. Pekka also set up ‘Our Orchestra' enabling the musicians who had taken part in his festival could continue to collaborate throughout the year. He has been Artist-in-Residence with the Tapiola Sinfonietta since September 2006.

Pekka regularly directs from the violin, working with ensembles such as the Australian, London, Scottish and Irish Chamber Orchestras, as well as the Münchener Kammerorchester. Last season, he also directed the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and Amsterdam Sinfonietta for the first time.

Pekka has enjoyed a number of prestigious residencies, including one at the Muziekgebouw Eindhoven throughout the 2010/11 season, and most recently at the Aldeburgh Festival. He oversaw the programming for the 2011 Avanti! Summer Sounds Festival and next summer will perform multiple concerts at the Concertgebouw's Robeco Summer Concert Series. Pekka champions the use of accompanying art forms in his performances, including light, electronics, film and dance, as seen in recent projects with Valgeir Sigurðsson and accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen. One of the Konzerthaus Dortmund's "Junge Wilde" artists, Pekka's most recent concert featured the world premiere of the chamber work Rush by Sebastian Fagerlund, and his final concert in May 2012 features singer Anna-Mari Kähärä and his traditional music group, the Luomu Players.

Pekka's most recent CD features the complete works for violin and piano by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara with pianist Paavali Jumppanen (Ondine). Other recent CDs include works for violin and guitar by Niccolo Paganini with guitarist Ismo Eskelinen (Ondine) and "Subterraneo", Finnish tango works with jazz pianist Iiro Rantala (Liverace). His recording of Lindberg's Violin Concerto will be released on the Ondine label in 2012. Pekka also features in 4, a DVD documentary about Vivaldi's Four Seasons, presenting Winter in the snowscapes of Lapland.