Skip to main content

Biography

Violin

Violinist, conductor, and composer PEKKA KUUSISTO is renowned for his artistic freedom and fresh approach to repertoire. Widely recognized for his flair in directing ensembles, Kuusisto is Artistic Director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (beginning with the 2021–22 season), and Artistic Partner with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He is also a Collaborative Partner of the San Francisco Symphony, and Artistic Best Friend of Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. In the 2020–21 season, Kuusisto was Artist-in-Residence with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Artist-in-Residence at Milton Court at the Barbican. These current performances mark his San Francisco Symphony Orchestral Series debut.
 
Kuusisto is an enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music and a gifted improviser, regularly engaging with people across the artistic spectrum, including experimental pianist Hauschka and percussionist Samuli Kosminen, Dutch neurologist Erik Scherder, pioneer of electronic music Brian Crabtree, eminent jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen, juggler Jay Gilligan, accordionist Dermot Dunne, and folk artist Sam Amidon. In the coming season he will premiere new concertos by Bryce Dessner, Djuro Zivkovic, and Enrico Chapela, and chamber works by Sauli Zinovjev and Calliope Tsoupaki. He also performs other concertos written for him, including Daníel Bjarnason’s Violin Concerto and Nico Muhly’s Violin Concerto, Shrink.
 
Kuusisto recently recorded Thomas Adès’s Violin Concerto with the Aurora Orchestra and Nicolas Collon for Deutsche Grammophon; Anders Hillborg’s Bach Materia and J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 3 and 4 with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard for BIS; and Daníel Bjarnason’s Violin Concerto with the composer leading the Iceland Symphony Orchestra for the Sono Luminus label.