Finnish star faces brain surgery

Finnish star faces brain surgery


norman lebrecht

July 23, 2020

The Finnish violinist and conductor Jaakko Kuusisto is facing a medical crisis.


Dear friends, here comes something I didn’t wish to tell you.

During the summer I’ve experienced mild, fragmented symptoms such as tiredness and irritation, mild headaches, and occasional messing around in my words. Last week I went to a doctor in Savonlinna and luckily i got a serious doctor in front of me. The order was an MRI on the head, which was done the other day in Lappeenranta. Results came yesterday on Wednesday morning, resulting in a quick visit to South Karelia Central Hospital and a sudden departure home to Oulu. Meeting with a neurosurgeon at NTV this Thursday morning and diagnosis is brain tumor, probably malignant.

The only good news is that it’s in a place you can access by cutting in the right frontal lobe and possibly mostly on the surface. Surgery is in over 2 weeks.

Writing this post for two reasons: I don’t want the inaccurate rumors to go around, because this will result in at least in the short term, maybe even in the long term, cancellation of gigs and other jobs that are visible on different sides. And another reason is this: the only thing I can be satisfied with at the moment is that I realized (with Maija’s help) to go to the doctor even with slight symptoms. People visit the doctor whenever something comes up.

My endless gratitude to my dear Maija for everything possible . Now all I can do is wait for surgery and the conclusions after that. My big thanks and appreciation to Finnish healthcare as well. So far I can’t think of anything they could have handled better or faster. 


  • Bostin'Symph says:

    All good wishes to Jaako for successful surgery and a full recovery.

  • christopher storey says:

    A nasty thing to happen. Let us hope that in fact it is not malignant. We wish him well and hope for a peedy and complete recovery

  • V. Lind says:

    God be with you, Maestro. We have lost enough to this affliction. It sounds as if you are in fine hands, and I hope and believe you will sail through this and be ready for the stages before they are quite ready for you.

    Kaikki hyviä toiveita.


  • Karl says:

    That’s terrible. He’s only in his mid 40s.

  • buxtehude says:

    May you have a speedy and full recovery.

    Finland offers free national healthcare, and ranks in the top third to half among similar European countries in surveys. Many Americans will experience within your account an implied rebuke to the fee-based mess obtaining in the US, which we nonetheless attempt to impose wherever we can.

  • Brian Kaplan says:

    Dear Jaako,

    Sending you my good wishes and deep care for a speedy recovery! Thinking good thoughts of strength and positivity for you and your family.

  • Charles Clark-Maxwell says:

    I remember this wonderful guy, introducing a folk song as an encore after a concerto. Do watch this

    Best of luck to him !

  • Peter San Diego says:

    Concerning news, indeed. Wishing Maestro Kuusisto all the best for a successful surgery and effective post-surgical treatment.

  • David R says:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery and all the strength needed to overcome this!!

  • Rob says:

    He’s a Capricorn, born 17th January. Saturn, the planet of restriction, hard knocks, lessons has just gone back into Capricorn. Saturn will leave Capricorn on December 17th 2020.

  • Clevelander says:

    Best wishes.
    One of the very best composers around these days.

  • Leonardo Bautista says:

    Get well. Everything will be alright.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Good luck and all best wishes, Maestro….

  • FellowFinn says:

    Sorry Norman and all of you but he’s Jaakko – not Jaako.
    I wish that always peoples names would be always check carefully

  • Helena says:

    My best wishes to maestro Jaakko Kuusisto (his first name has double “k”). I live in Kuopio in mid -Finland, and we have an acoustically wonderful concert hall here. Jaakko Kuusisto is currently the principal conductor of the Kuopio City Orchestra, so the news touched me deeply. Hope he will overcome this.
    Someone here wrote in the comments that Finland has a free national health care. No we haven’t. Not free but reasonably cheap. I myself had a cancer operation a few years ago. I spent three days in hospital and the bill was a bit under 100 euros. The x-rays and CT scans were free.

  • buxtehude says:

    By American standards that is Free.

  • Terrence bell says:

    Good luck I should have had surgery for my brain tumour on 23rd March uk lock down? Didn’t happen so again all the best.


    We all wish you a speedy recovery and we thank you for all the beauty you have shared with us.