Jaakko Kuusisto
Finland, °1974 - 2022
Conductor, violinist and composer Jaakko Kuusisto, born in 1974, studied the violin with Géza Szilvay and Tuomas Haapanen at the Sibelius Academy, and with Miriam Fried and Paul Biss at Indiana University. He has studied composition with Eero Hämeenniemi and David Dzubay.

Jaakko Kuusisto was appointed concertmaster of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in 1999 and has since then enjoyed a close collaboration with their Music Director Osmo Vänskä. In 2002 he stepped in for Peter Schreier to conduct Schubert’s Symphony No. 3 and his talent for conducting was immediately recognised. Since then, in addition to continuing in his position as che has conducted the orchestra for several weeks a season in Lahti, and has received professional tuition from Maestro Vänskä.

His success has led to guest conducting invitations elsewhere, anhighlights of recent seasons have included performances wiOulu Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, OstrobothnChamber Orchestra, Västeräs Sinfonietta and Savonlinna Festival Opera. In September 2004 he made his UK debut conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra in a programme featuring Rautavaara aSibelius’ Symphony No. 7. In the 2005/06 season and beyond, alongside his regular work in Lahti, Jaakko Kuusisto will take up tpost of Principal Guest Conductor of the Oulu Symphony Orchestrand make his conducting debut with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and the Royal Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra.

As a violinist, Jaakko Kuusisto holds a long list of competition prizes. He won the Kuopio Violin Competition in 1989, and during the following years took top prizes in the Sibelius, Indianapolis and Carl Nielsen competitions.

Appearances as soloist and chamber musician have taken him across Europe, and to the Far East, the US and Australia.

As a composer he has been increasingly active and his works have been performed at several concerts in Scandinavia, as well as in the UK and the United States. His ‘Between Seasons’ suite has been recorded by the Helsinki Strings for the Finlandia label, and his children's opera ‘The Canine Kalevala’ had outstanding success at Savonlinna in both 2004 and 2005.

Jaakko Kuusisto has made a number of recordings as a violinist, such as Rautavaara's Violin Concerto on BIS Records, a release that has earned the highest critical acclaim, and Sibelius's complete violin. His recordings also include Bach's violin concertos and Prokofiev's violin sonatas, and his special interest in jazz has resulted in two recording projects, of which the recently released Music features him as violinist, composer and arranger.

Jaakko Kuusisto plays a Matteo Goffriller violin dated 1702 and holds a post as Principal Guest Conductor with the Oulu Symphony Orchestra.
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