Pekka Kuusisto
(c) Kaapo Kamu

Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, 46, has announced that he will take time off from musical engagements for the rest of the year. In a post on social media, Kuusisto writes: « A doctor friend of mine told me some years ago that musicians and actors seem to be the last ones to call in sick. He wasn’t sure if it’s because of dedication, fear of economic trouble – or perhaps some form of a savior complex where the patient assumes that the colleagues, the concert or even the entire artform will collapse if she or he ceases to participate for a while. It’s probably all of the above, in different mixtures for different people, and heaps of other impulses as well. Having said that – I’ve called in sick for the remainder of this year. »

Kuusisto, who in addition to his violin performance engagements, was named principal guest conductor and artistic co-director at the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra suffered great personal loss in 2022. Cancer claimed both his mother and his brother Jaakko.

Kuusisto continued: ’’It means having to let go of several engagements that I had been looking forward to for a long time. Causing a hassle to colleagues and administrators, who had counted on me to show up, is no fun at all. »

Kuusisto said he will use the next weeks « to zoom out, admire the landscape, and find the way back. »

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