The Finnish musician may not intend to commit murder but he certainly hopes for redemption.

The Finnish director, composer and violinist will kick-start the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s national season next month with Murder and Redemption, an intriguing psychological drama re-imagined as a journey combining classical music and folk, and featuring special guest Sam Amidon. Janáček’s crime-of-passion-inspired String Quartet No 1 (based around Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata), rubs shoulders with John Adams’ hypnotic Shaker Loopsand folk songs like the famous Shaker song, Simple Gifts. Ahead of the premiere, Pekka chatted to LimelightEditor Clive Paget.

Pekka Kuusisto

Murder and Redemption sounds genuinely original. How did you come up with the idea?

The folk singer, Sam Amidon, is somebody I’ve worked with before – he’s been to my little festival in Finland. I found themes in the traditional songs that he works with, and wondered about building a concert that would rely on that poetry. I think the John Adams came first. In Shaker Loopspeople are trying to find some sort of salvation through extreme physical movement – dances, spinning and turning, and generally acting wild. Musically it is...