Anni Kuusimäki

Instrument group
Performer role
Section principal

I am from Lieksa, but I have Karelian roots in Suistamo and Antrea.

I came from the orchestra of the Finnish National Opera to replace Marjatta Haahti in HPO for the 1998-99 season. That spring I auditioned and was selected principal. The following year I also won the audition for Riitta Paavola’s place as principal in the opera, but I eventually chose a life with the symphony orchestra.

I like to play music composed for the harp by the French masters Debussy and Ravel. When playing solo harp my greatest inspiration for years has been arranging the most beautiful Finnish romantic piano compositions for my instrument – Sibelius, Merikanto, Kaski, Kuula, Palmgren… But sometimes fast-tempo Celtic music beats these. Jazz ballads are also wonderful to play. And Bach always soothes the soul.

When I lived in Taka-Töölö, Sibelius Park and Seurasaari became my favourite places in Helsinki: the sea, the atmosphere and the forest.