The 1995 Sibelius Violin Competition was won by the talented young Finn Pekka Kuusisto. He was accompanied in the finals by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Memorable performances of the concerto had, of course, been given before this, among them the premiere of the original version of the concerto in 1904.
The following year (1996), Kuusisto and the HPO recorded their own version of the concerto (on the Ondine label) with Leif Segerstam conducting. Also on the same disc are Belshazzar’s Feast and the Karelia Suite.
Twenty years after wining the Violin Competition, Pekka Kuusisto played the Violin Concerto with Susanna Mälkki conducting the HPO in honour of the Sibelius 150 jubilee in 2015.
Text: Salla Viitanen