Pekka Kuusisto (b. 1976) is one of Finland's most renowned and internationally successful musicians. With the opening of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2023/24 concert season, Kuusisto will begin a three-year term as Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Co-director as a member of the Artistic Leadership Team responsible for planning the programme.
”The planning of this concert season has been a wonderful adventure, and I hope it brings the joy of both discovery and homecoming to our listeners,” Kuusisto says. In the HPO’s concerts, Kuusisto will appear as conductor, violin soloist and lead, meaning he will be conducting the orchestra while playing the violin instead of holding a baton.
Pekka Kuusisto grew up in a musical family and started playing the violin at the age of three. His solo career really kicked off after he won the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in 1995. Since then, his work has taken him at an accelerating pace to all continents throughout the world. His regular workplaces currently include Oslo (Norwegian Chamber Orchestra), Bremen (Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie), Berlin (Mahler Chamber Orchestra) and San Francisco (San Francisco Symphony) – and now also Helsinki.
Pekka Kuusisto is known for his bold and innovative approach, and his repertoire extends from folk music through classical to music that defies genre boundaries. Kuusisto combines, creates new things and moves widely in different art fields, also renewing concert traditions and the interaction between musicians and the audience without detracting from the hard core of tradition, for example as an instrumentalist or – increasingly often – as a conductor.