The Kennedy Center

Leonidas Kavakos


Leonidas Kavakos has established himself as a violinist and artist of rare quality, known at the highest level for his virtuosity, superb musicianship and the integrity of his playing. International recognition came whilst Kavakos was still in his teens. He won the Sibelius competition in 1985 and then the Paganini competition in 1988, and following these successes, he was invited by orchestras across Europe, North America and the Far East and his reputation soared.

Kavakos now appears in concert throughout the world with the great orchestras and conductors and regularly visits the major international festivals with visiting orchestras, in chamber music and in recital.

In the current season, Kavakos appears with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, La Scala Filarmonica, London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He will work with such conductors as Andrey Boreyko, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Myung-Whun Chung, Sir Andrew Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Christoph Eschenbach, Iván Fischer, Hans Graf, Alan Gilbert, Valery Gergiev, David Robertson and Osmo Vänskä.

In October 2007, Kavakos took up the position of Artistic Director of the Camerata Salzburg, succeeding Sir Roger Norrington. He conducts twice each season in the Camerata's Abonnement series in the Mozarteum, Salzburg as well as appearing at the Salzburg Festival, the Mozartwoche and in their own festival, the Begegnung both in Salzburg and Vienna. He has previously taken the orchestra on tour to Italy, Germany, Spain and Greece and in February 2006, he presented the Camerata Salzburg in his own festival at the Megaron, Athens. This was a series of three Mozart programs in which he played the five concerti and conducted three late symphonies. The concerts were recorded and have been released by Sony to wide acclaim.

Kavakos is an established chamber musician and collaborates with many distinguished partners — Heinrich Schiff, Natalia Gutman, Emanuel Ax, Lars Vogt, Elisabeth Leonskaya. He regularly plays at the major European halls, and last season gave a series of chamber music recitals at the Verbier Festival and the Salzburg Festival. He was also resident at the Concertgebouw in a dedicated weekend of recital and chamber music as well as in concert with the Camerata Salzburg.

In addition to his most recent disc of the Mozart concerti with the Camerata Salzburg, Kavakos has a distinguished catalogue of recordings. In 1991, he won the Gramophone Award for the first recording ever of the original version of Sibelius' violin concerto (1903/04) on BIS. Further recordings include the violin concerto by Hindemith with the BBC Philharmonic (Chandos), solo sonatas by Ysaÿe (BIS), works by Debussy, Kreisler, Paganini, et al. (Delos) as well as Sibelius' Humoresques (Finlandia). 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 which received high accolade.

Leonidas Kavakos plays the "Falmouth" Stradivarius of 1692 and a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini of 1782 (Torino).
Leonidas Kavakos