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Finnish Cultural Foundation Awards Violinist and Conductor Pekka Kuusisto

Kuusisto was honored for his mastery of the violin and baton, and for his willingness to push boundaries


In late February, on the eve of Finnish Culture Day, the Finnish Cultural Foundation granted three awards of 40,000 euros for significant cultural achievements. Violinist and conductor Pekka Kuusisto was joined by architect Benito Casagrande and microbiologist Mirja Salkinoja-Salonen.

As a conductor in addition to violinist, Kuusisto serves as the Artistic Director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Co-Director of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra from the 2023/24 season. He is also the Artistic Partner with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, a Collaborative Partner of the San Francisco Symphony, and Artistic Best Friend of Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.

An advocate of contemporary music, he recently performed the world premiere of Bryce Dessner’s Violin Concerto with HR Sinfonieorchester, and of Thomas Adès’ Märchentänze for violin and orchestra with Finnish Radio Symphony orchestra. Other recent premieres include works by Sauli Zinovjev, Daníel Bjarnason, Anders Hillborg, Philip Venables, and Andrea Tarrodi.

In 2022, Kuusisto released his first album as conductor, partnering with Vilde Frang and Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen presenting the Stravinsky and Beethoven Concerti (Warner Classics).

As a violin soloist, he is the Sinfonieorchester Basel’s Artist in Residence. In the 2022/23 season, Kuusisto debuted with Berliner Philharmoniker and performed with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. He returns to orchestras such as The Cleveland, Cincinnati Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and the Philharmonia.

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may 2024

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