Pekka Kuusisto

Biography

Born: October 7, 1976; Espo  
Finland can boast vigorous scenes in jazz, electronic, and folk music as well as a legendary educational emphasis on the classics, and the young Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto has aimed toward a career and a charismatic presentation that builds connections among these various genre. Born in Espoo on October 7, 1976, he began playing the violin at age three and enrolled at the Sibelius Academy when he was nine. His primary teacher there was Read more Tuomas Haapanen. Part of Kuusisto's training was American; he studied under Miriam Fried and Paul Bliss at Indiana University between 1992 and 1996. By the end of that time he was already making an impression as a top-level player, taking home first prize at the 1995 International Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki. He has recorded the Sibelius violin concerto for the Ondine label as part of its Absolute Sibelius release but has concentrated on material of a slightly more contemporary tinge, from Bartók to Rautavaara. The beneficiary of the movement of modern Scandinavian music into the concert repertory, he has also helped that movement along with gutsy performances drawing on his experience outside concert music: he plays jazz with a trio called Töykeät and other progressive musicians including Finland's Rinneradio, and he has dabbled in electronic genres ranging from hip-hop to noise music. An admirer of jazz experimentalist John Zorn, he told Erica Jeal of England's Guardian that "I realised that . . . it was actually maybe one of the best things that I have -- this desire or ability to improvise." He also heads his own Finnish folk ensemble, the Luomu Players, and has appeared on Finnish rock and pop releases. Kuusisto has appeared with top orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, smaller American groups such as the Alabama and Oregon symphony orchestras, the City of Birmingham and BBC symphony orchestras, and the innovative Australian Chamber Orchestra. His brother Jaakko is also a musician, and the two share the artistic directorship of Finland's Lake Tuusula Chamber Music Festival. In 2006, Kuusisto became artist-in-residence with the Tapiola Sinfonietta. He has begun to direct ensembles from the violin more and more frequently, and he was the featured violinist in 4, a Finnish DVD about Vivaldi's Four Seasons, featuring winter landscapes from Finland's Lapland region. Read less
Browse 1-21 of 21 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Darkness In Light
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2093 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sebastian Fagerlund
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Sibelius: The Essential Orchestral Favourites With Photo Album
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 12652 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam,  Jean Sibelius
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Lindberg: Violin Concerto; Jubilees; Souvenir / Kuusisto, Lindberg, Tapiola Sinfonietta
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1175-2 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Magnus Lindberg
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Pekka Kuusisto,  Magnus Lindberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
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  • 4.
    Nico Muhly: Drones
    Label: Bedroom Community   Catalog: 16 Release Date: 11/20/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nico Muhly
    Performer:  Nadia Sirota,  Bruce Brubaker,  Pekka Kuusisto,  Nico Muhly
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  • 5.
    Ilkka Kuusisto: Orchestral Works / Jaakko Kuusisto, Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1847 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ilkka Kuusisto
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto,  Jorma Hynninen
    Conductor:  Jaakko Kuusisto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Rautavaara: Summer Thoughts / Kuusisto, Jumppanen
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1177-2 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Einojuhani Rautavaara,  Traditional
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto,  Paavali Jumppanen
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  • 7.
    Essential Highlights Of Pekka Kuusisto
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 254-2 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Jaakko Kuusisto,  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta,  Virtuosi di Kuhmo
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  • 8.
    Paganini Duos
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1142-2 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini
    Performer:  Ismo Eskelinen,  Pekka Kuusisto
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  • 9.
    Folk Trip / Pekka Kuusisto
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1018 Release Date: 12/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Ainda-Nickola
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Luomu Players
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 10.
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Kuusisto, Virtuosi Di Kuhmo
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 939 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Virtuosi di Kuhmo
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 11.
    Pekka Kuusisto - Strings Attached
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 901 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jean Sibelius,  Alfred Schnittke,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto,  Raija Kerppo
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  • 12.
    The Absolute Sibelius - Violin Concerto, Symphony No. 2
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1115 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    A Five-star Sibelius Celebration
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1108 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Olli Mustonen,  Pekka Kuusisto,  Monica Groop,  Jorma Hynninen
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta,  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Sibelius: Works For Violin & Orchestra / Kuusisto, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1074 Release Date: 08/22/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
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  • 15.
    Mozart Jubileum / Isokoski, Garanca, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1078 Release Date: 06/27/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Elina Garanca,  Jorma Hynninen,  Kari Kriikku,  Soile Isokoski  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Vilumanis,  Eri Klas,  John Storgĺrds,  Peter Schreier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Latvian National Symphony Orchestra,  Estonian State Symphony Orchestra,  Tapiola Sinfonietta  ... 
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  • 16.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies & Violin Concerto / Segerstam, Kuusisto, Helsinki Philharmonic
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1075 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra,  Polytech Male Choir
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  • 17.
    Mozart: Violin Concertos 3, 4 & 5 / Kuusisto, Mustonen, Etc
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1025 Release Date: 11/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Olli Mustonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
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  • 18.
    Bach: Violin Concertos / Jaakko Kuusisto, Pekka Kuusisto
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 980 Release Date: 04/23/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Jaakko Kuusisto,  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
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  • 19.
    Music! - Rantala, J. Kuusisto, Et Al / Osmo Vanska, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 5015 Release Date: 04/23/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jaakko Kuusisto,  Pekka Kuusisto,  Iiro Rantala
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto,  Jaakko Kuusisto,  Alan Smithee
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $21.49
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  • 20.
    Taneyev: Concert Suite For Violin, Etc / Kuusisto, Ashkenazy
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 959 Release Date: 03/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Taneyev
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Etc / Kuusisto, Segerstam
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 878 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Päivi Korhonen,  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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