Pekka Kuusisto is renowned for his fresh approach to repertoire and his flair in directing ensembles from the violin. He is artistic partner with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, artistic director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s ACO Collective, and this year became Artistic Best Friend of Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen after a longstanding creative collaboration with the ensemble. In 2018 he will be guest artistic leader of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. Other directing engagements include the Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Swedish and Mahler Chamber Orchestras.
This season he appears with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Orchestre de Paris, and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. He also undertakes a European tour with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and appears with the ensemble throughout the season; play-directs the Berlin Philharmonic’s Karajan Academy with tenor Mark Padmore; and has a mini-residency at Pierre Boulez Saal with REDDRESS, a collaborative project with South Korean artist Aamu Song.
An advocate of contemporary music, Mr. Kuusisto has premiered new works by Daníel Bjarnason, Sauli Zinovjev, Andrea Tarrodi, Anders Hillborg, and Thomas Dausgaard. He is also composing, performing, and recording music for a new animated television series of Tove Jansson’s Moomin stories with Samuli Kosminen.
A gifted improviser, recent projects include collaborations with Hauschka and Samuli Kosminen, Dutch neurologist Erik Scherder, electronic music pioneer Brian Crabtree, and jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen. Pekka Kuusisto is artistic director of the award-winning annual Our Festival in Sibelius’s hometown, Järvenpää, Finland.
Recent concerto appearances include the Edinburgh International Festival with the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä, the BBC Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard, and concerts with the Seattle, Cincinnati, and Finnish Radio symphony orchestras. A keen chamber musician, his regular partners include Nicolas Altstaedt, Anne Sofie von Otter, Simon Crawford-Phillips, Alexander Lonquich, and Olli Mustonen. Pekka Kuusisto plays a fine 18th century Italian instrument generously loaned to him by the Beares International Violin Society.