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Pekka Kuusisto (born 1976 in Espoo, Finland) is a Finnish classical and jazz violinist.

Pekka Kuusisto began studying the violin at the age of three. His first violin teacher was Geza Szilvay at the East Helsinki Music Institute. In 1983 he enrolled in the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He began to study there with Tuomas Holopainen in 1985. He studied with Miriam Fried and Paul Biss at the Indiana University School of Music from 1992 to 1996.

In 1995, Pekka Kuusisto became the first Finn to win the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition and was also awarded a special prize for the best performance of Jean Sibelius' violin concerto. He has won other prizes, concertised widely and recorded works for the Ondine label. Pekka Kuusisto plays a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin (1752) lent by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Kuusisto has performed with many European professional orchestras, but does his most significant orchestral appearances by playing mostly with well-known Finnish orchestras. In 2005, Pekka performed at the Barbican Centre with the Finnish electronic jazz group RinneRadio as part of Herbie Hancock's festival.[1] In 2009, he toured Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in the BNP Paribas tour.[2] Each summer, Kuusisto creates his own programme of events at the Lake Tuusula Chamber Music Festival in Finland, of which he is Artistic Director.[1]

"Playing folk, jazz, electronic music and improvising as well as classical music has really given me the relationship I have with my violin. It has taught me that a fiddle is not something to control – if you want to play in a free way you have to feel free and the folk musicians I admire the most would agree. They couldn’t play the Sibelius Concerto to save their lives, but they are some of the happiest musicians I know."
Pekka Kuusisto

He was featured in the film 4 as the soloist of the winter quarter of a quartet of young musicians from around the world playing Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.

In 2009, he performed with Nightwish at the Hartwall Areena concert (September 19, 2009). He was featured on the songs, "The Siren" and "While Your Lips Are Still Red".

References

  1. ^ a b "2009 Guest Artists - Pekka Kuusisto"[1]. Retrieved on 2009-03-26.
  2. ^ "Inner Voices: Bach and Sibelius - Australian Chamber Orchestra"[2]. Retrieved on 2009-03-26.
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