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Musical World

Leonidas Kavakos

  • Conductor
  • Violinist

Biography

In the current seasons, Leonidas Kavakos appears as soloist with the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, La Scala Filharmonica, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Tonhalle Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He works with such conductors as Pierre Boulez, Ricardo Chailly, Myung-Whun Chung, Gustavo Dudamel, Christoph Eschenbach, Iván Fischer, Alan Gilbert, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Paavo Jarvi, Zubin Mehta, Anthony Pappano, Christian Thielemann and Osmo Vänskä.

Leonidas Kavakos is also increasingly recognised as a conductor of considerable gift and musicianship. From October 2007 until September 2009, Kavakos was Artistic Director of the Camerata Salzburg, having been the orchestra’s Principal Guest Artist from 2002. He has also conducted the La Scala Filharmonica and St Louis SO and will be appearing as conductor or conductor/violinist with the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Budapest FO, Houston SO, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Rotterdam, PO and the Maggio Musicale.

Kavakos’ many distinguished chamber music partners include Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, Natalia Gutman, Emanuel Ax, Hélène Grimaud, Nicholas Angelich, Nickolai Luganski, Elisabeth Leonskaya and Enrico Pace. He is invited widely as an artist in residence and will have a wide exposure as such in the next seasons, in November 2009 as Artist in Focus at London’s Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, with the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Tonhalle, Zurich. He is a regular and favoured artist at the Verbier Festival.

Kavakos has a distinguished catalogue of recordings. His recording of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto coupled with the Mendelssohn piano trios with Enrico Pace and Patrick Demenga on Sony Classical was recently named ECHO Klassik Best Concerto Recording of 19th Century Work. Together with the Camerata Salzburg, also on Sony, he has recorded live Mozart’s five violin concerti and the E flat major symphony. In 1991, he won the Gramophone Award for the first recording ever of the original version of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto (1903/04) on BIS. On ECM, he has released a recording of sonatas by Enescu and Ravel together with pianist Péter Nagy and a recording of works by Bach and Stravinsky: "...the exquisite tenderness of the playing gives the music a sense of timeless, poignant beauty…” (Gramophone, May 2005).

Leonidas Kavakos plays the ‘Abergavenny’ Stradivarius of 1724.