Leila Josefowicz

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    AfterWords: John Adams, conductor / Leila Josefowicz, violin


Violinist Leila Josefowicz has won the hearts of audiences around the world with her honest, fresh approach to the repertoire and her dynamic virtuosity.

Ms. Josefowicz came to national attention in 1994 when she made her Carnegie Hall debut with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and has since appeared with many of the world's most prestigious orchestras and eminent conductors.  A regular, close collaborator of leading composers of the day such as John Adams and Oliver Knussen, she is a strong advocate of new music - a characteristic which is reflected in her diverse programs and her enthusiasm for premiering new works.  During the 08/09 season Ms. Josefowicz premiered concertos written for her by Esa-Pekka Salonen/Los Angeles Philharmonic and Steve Mackey/St. Louis Symphony and played first performances of Thomas Adès’ violin concerto Concentric Paths with the Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco and Seattle symphonies. In October 2009 she premiered another concerto written for her by Colin Matthews with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In recognition of her passionate advocacy and genuine commitment to the music of today, Ms. Josefowicz was awarded a 2008 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

Recent appearances in North America include performances with the New York Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, and Cincinnati symphonies; a performance of John Adams' Violin Concerto in Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra under the baton of Mr. Adams; and recitals in San Francisco, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.

During her 2009-10 season, Ms. Josefowicz’s schedule includes the Cleveland Orchestra and Toronto Symphony, again to play first performances of the Adès concerto, as well as to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the National, Atlanta, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Utah and Colorado symphonies among others.

Equally active internationally, engagements in Europe and Asia include appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestras, the London, Munich and Czech Philharmonics and Finnish Radio Orchestra; performances of the new Salonen concerto with the Swedish Radio Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra led by the composer; a tour with the London Symphony Orchestra playing The Dharma at Big Sur with Adams conducting; recital and chamber music performances at the Verbier Festival; and a return to the London Proms.

Ms. Josefowicz’s debut recording with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in 1994 for Philips Classics was awarded a Diapason d’or. Subsequent releases on that label include Solo, a disc of unaccompanied works, which also won a Diapason d’or; Bohemian Rhapsodies, a collection of virtuosic works with orchestra; For the End of Time and Americana with pianist John Novacek; and the Mendelssohn, Glazunov and Prokofiev concertos with the Montreal Symphony/Dutoit.  Additional releases include a live recording of her performance of the Adams Violin Concerto with John Adams conducting on the BBC label and Adams' Road Movies, which received a 2004 Grammy nomination, for Nonesuch.  Her most recent releases are a recital disc and the Shostakovich Violin Sonata and Concerto No. 1 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Oramo, which received a 2007 ECHO Award, both for Warner Classics, and a live recording of the Knussen concerto conducted by the composer at the London Proms for Deutsche Gramophone.

A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1994 as well as a 2007 United States Artists Cummings Fellowship, Leila Josefowicz is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Jaime Laredo and Jascha Brodsky. Ms. Josefowicz performs on a Del Gesú made in 1724. The electric violin she plays this week was made for her by David Bruce Johnson.

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Leila Josefowicz