Artistic director calls in sick for the rest of 2022

Artistic director calls in sick for the rest of 2022


norman lebrecht

November 22, 2022

Message from the Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, artistic director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra:


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.
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.
However, in my situation, the option to take time off was the only one that made any sense. I will use the next weeks to zoom out, admire the landscape, and find the way back. I still consider my profession to be an enormous gift, and am looking forward to returning to it in January, hopefully with some added perspective.
Loads of love from southern Finland, where the first snow of this winter fell yesterday.
No aging app was used in the picture.


  • Andrew says:

    That’s the beauty of the jab…no aging app required.

  • Guest Principal says:

    Pekka is a loved and greatly valued musician. His colleagues around the world will wish him a rapid and complete recovery.

  • Bostin'Symph says:

    Dear Pekka Kuusisto, all good wishes for a complete and refreshing recovery. It is good, from time to time, to recharge the batteries physically and spiritually. May good food, drink, warmth and rest return you to the best of health.

  • Serge says:

    Why did he have to make a big point out of it? Nevertheless, all the best for Mr. Kuusisto.

    • Jean says:

      You are the same Serge who also complained that people who give charity to Ukraine are making “big number out of themselves” 😀

      Is this the only phrase or thought that you know in English ?

      I genuinely wonder !

  • Emil says:

    It’s been a terrible year for pekka, he has lost both his mother and his brother. All the best to him!

  • Max Raimi says:

    He performed with us here in Chicago last spring, a fiendishly difficult concerto (for us as well!) by Bryce Dessner. Extraordinary technical command and an outrageous imagination in regard to tone color. I hope he gets the rest and rejuvenation he needs.