Jukka-Pekka Kuusela gained his diplomas in conducting and the accordion at the Gnesin Russian Academy of Music, in Moscow. He has collaborated with such famous musicians as Pavel Vernikov, Pekka Kuusisto, Helena Juntunen and Johanna Rusanen. He is Artistic Director of the Finnish-Russian Sinfonietta Lentua, which he founded. In 2008, he was appointed chief conductor with the Murmansk Philharmonic Orchestra (the first Finn to attain such a position in Russia). He also conducts regularly in China, Sweden, Hungary, Latvia and other countries. Kuusela is always looking for new repertoire to perform in partnership with a number of contemporary composers, who in the past have included Vladimir Mendelssohn, Mihail Bronner, Maria Antal and Musheng Chen. He is also a regular guest on the jury of international instrumental and conducting competitions in different parts of Europe.