Of all the world's leading violinists, Gidon Kr er haSemperhaps had the most unconventional career. Born in Riga, Latvia, he began studying at the age of four with his father and grandfather, who were both distinguished string players. At the age of seven, he entered Riga Music School. At sixteen he was awarded the first Prize of the Latvian Republic and two years later he began his studies with David Oistrakh at the Moscow Conservatory. He went on to win prestigious awards including the 1967 Queen Elizabeth Competition and the first prize in both Paganini and Tchaikovsky International Competitions. This success launched Gidon Kr er's distinguished career, in the course of which he has established a worldwide reputation as one of the most original and compelling artists of his generation. He has appeared on virtually every major concert stage with the most celebrated orchestras of Europe and America. Also he has collaborated with today's for ost conductors. Gidon Kr er's repertoire is unusually extensive, encompassing all of the standard classical and romantic violin works, as well as music by twentieth- and twenty-first century masters such as Henze, Berg and Stockhausen. He also championed the works of living Russian and Eastern European composers and has since performed many important new compositions; several of th dedicated to him. He has become associated with such diverse composers as Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Part, Giya Kancheli, Sofia Gubaidulina, Valentin Silvestrov, Luigi Nono, Aribert Reimann, Peteris Vasks, John Adams, Victor Kissine, Michael Nyman, Philipp Glass, Leonid Desyatnikov and Astor Piazzolla, bringing their music to audiences in a way that respects tradition yet r ains contemporary. It would be fair to say that no other soloist of his international stature has done as much for contemporary composers in the past 30 years. An exceptionally prolific recording artist, Gidon Kr er has made more than 120 albums, many of which brought him prestigious international awards and prizes in recognition of his exceptional interpretative powers. These include the Grand prix du Disque", Deutscher Schallplattenpreis", the Ernst-von-Si ens Musikpreis", the Bundesverdienstkreuz", the Pr io dell Accad ia Musicale Chigiana", the Triumph Prize 2000" (Moscow), in 2001 the Unesco Prize", in 2007 the Saeculum-Glashutte Original-Musikfestspielpreis Dresden and in 2008 the Rolf-Schock Prize, Stockholm, in 2010 "life achievement" prize of the Istanbul Music festival, and in 2011 he was awarded "Una Vita Nella Musica - Artur Rubinstein" Prize (Venice) which is considered by many to be the "Nobel Prize" of music, among many others. In February 2002 he and the Kr erata Baltica were awarded with the Grammy for the Nonesuch recording "After Mozart" in the category "Best small ensemble Performance". The same recording received in the fall of 2002 an ECHO prize in Germany. The I Classics CD The Berlin Recital" with Martha Argerich and works by Schumann and Bartok has been recently released as well as an album with all violin concertos of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a live recording with the label Nonesuch, recorded with Kr erata Baltica at Salzburg Festival 2006. His latest CD De Profundis" was published in September 2010 with Nonesuch. Gidon Kr er actively collaborates as well with the ECM label, which released his last recording of all J. S. Bach Sonatas and Partitas. The most recent releases are a Piano trio album with Khatia Buniatishvili and Giedre Dirvanauskaite and a CD set of Lockenhaus Live-recordings celebrating the 30 years of this unique festival, G. Kr er concluded in 2011. In 1981 Mr. Kr er founded Lockenhaus, an intimate chamber music festival that continued to take place every summer in Austria for 30 years until 2011. In 1997, he founded the Kr erata Baltica chamber orchestra to foster outstanding young musicians from the three Baltic States. Since then, Mr. Kr er has been touring extensively with the orchestra appearing at world's most prestigious festivals and concert halls. He has also recorded almost 20 CD's with the orchestra for Teldec, Nonesuch, DGG and ECM. (From 2002 - 2006 Gidon Kr er was the artistic leader of the new festival les museiques" in Basel (Switzerland)). Gidon Kr er plays a Nicola Amati, dated from 1641. He is also the author of three books, published in German and translated into many languages, which reflect his artistic pursuits.