Pekka Kuusisto wins the Nordic Council Music Prize 2013


Violinist-composer Pekka Kuusisto (born 1976), has won the Nordic Council Music Prize 2013, awarded at a gala celebration at the Opera House in Oslo.

The Nordic Council Music Prize is worth DKK 350,000 and was presented by last year's winner, Anna Thorvaldsdóttir.

"Kuusisto is a violinist in the absolute elite and with as much unique creativity as musicality", says the Adjudication Committee.

The committee also praised Kuusisto for his open and exploratory attitude to both composing and performing music:

"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."

Kuusisto is internationally renowned both as soloist and director and is recognised for his fresh and andventurous approach to the repertoire. Kuusisto is also a strong advocate of new music, who continually seeks to collaborate with people across the artistic spectrum, working on new interpretations of existing repertoire alongside original pieces. In the 2012/13 season, he will perform the world premiere of Sebastian Fagerlund’s Violin Concerto, written for him and commissioned by the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. Kuusisto has also enjoyed a number of prestigious residencies, including at the Aldeburgh Festival and most recently at the Concertgebouw’s Robeco Zomerconcerten in 2012. His most recent album features the complete works for violin and piano by Einojuhani Rautavaara with Paavali Jumppanen (for the Ondine label).