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Pekka Kuusisto Gets Nordic Council Music Prize 2013

16/12/2013 | By | Reply More

Pekka Kuusisto, the Finnish violinist was announced as winner of the 2013 Nordic Council Music Prize at a special gala at Oslo Opera House on October 30. 2013


Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto is honoured with the Nordic Council Music Prize 2013, because, in the words of the adjudication committee, he is ‘a violinist in the absolute elite and with as much unique creativity as musicality’.

Pekka Kuusisto (1976) was chosen as recipient of this year’s Prize from a shortlist of twelve nominees. The Nordic Council Music Prize is worth DKK 350,000 and was presented by last year’s winner, Anna Thorvaldsdóttir.

The Nordic Council Music Prize Adjudicating Committee says: Pekka Kuusisto moves with total freedom and great curiosity in a broad musical landscape where he finds completely new aspects of familiar motifs. Fearless, he explores an unknown terrain, but also invites the audience and the other players into a creative interaction. As a composer, arranger and artistic leader he creates inspiring contexts, particularly within the framework of folk music. Pekka Kuusisto is a strong performer who masters all techniques and expression – from the extreme virtuoso to the simple and moving.

The Nordic Council Music Prize, awarded for outstanding achievement in creative and practical music, was established in 1965 to recognise innovative musical activity of a high artistic and technical standard. Previous Nordic Music Prize winners have included Björk, Kaija Saariaho and Swedish conductor Eric Ericsson.

About Pekka Kuusisto

Pekka Kuusisto is one of the most versatile and distinctive musicians working today. Always demonstrating his extraordinary individuality and imagination, he is unusually free and fluid in his approach and has been acclaimed for the spontaneity and freshness in his playing.

Setting Pekka Kuusisto apart from most other violinists of his generation is his desire and ability to improvise, and his love of playing many different styles of music, channeling the same intensity into each genre.

Pekka Kuusisto began to study the violin with Géza Szilvay at the age of three. In 1985, he went on to study with Tuomas Haapanen at the Sibelius Academy. He also  studied with Miriam Fried and Paul Biss at Indiana University in Bloomington from 1992 to 1996.

Watch video below – Courtesy Yle – The Finnish National Broadcasting Service.

Violin Concerto “Darkness in Light” (2012) by the Composer Sebastian Fagerlund (b.1972),  Pekka Kuusisto (b. 1976), violin, under control of the Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali (b. 1985). The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra plays under.


Pekka Kuusisto became the first Finn to win the Sibelius Violin Competition in 1995. He has since performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors.

In 2006, Pekka Kuusisto became Artist in Association with the Tapiola Sinfonietta. In 2009, he was selected as one of eight individuals in the Konzerthaus Dortmund’s celebrated “Junge Wilde” series.

Apart from his appearances as a soloist, Pekka Kuusisto also performs chamber music, jazz, folk music, and electronic music. As Artistic Director of Finland’s “Our Festival” at Lake Tuusula each summer, he creates his own programme of events.

Pekka Kuusisto has made numerous acclaimed recordings for Ondine, a Finnish Music Publishing Company. His catalogue includes many works by Jean Sibelius, including the Violin Concerto with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Leif Segerstam, other pieces for violin and orchestra with the Tapiola Sinfonietta and works for violin and piano with pianist Heini Kärkkäinen.

He has also recorded Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Mozart’s Violin Concertos Nos. 3, 4, and 5 and works by Olli Mustonen. Together with his brother, violinist Jaakko Kuusisto, he performs on a disc featuring the complete Violin Concertos by J.S. Bach.

In 2010, he released a disc of duo works by Paganini together with guitarist Ismo Eskelinen and his most recent release showcases (2011) the complete works for violin and piano by Finnish composer Rautavaara.

Below can you listen to sound breakout by his CD disc Summer Thoughts – Works for Violin and Piano by the Finnish composer Rautavaara

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Below can you buy from Amazon, some of his most acclaimed recordings:


Category: Finland

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