Leonidas Kavakos is recognized as a violinist and artist of rare quality, known for his virtuosity, musicianship, and the integrity of his playing. By age 21 he had won three major competitions: the Sibelius (1985), Paganini, and Naumburg (1988). This success led to his recording the original Sibelius Violin Concerto (1903–04), the first recording of this work in history, which won the 1991 Gramophone Concerto of the Year Award. Mr. Kavakos was awarded Gramophone Artist of the Year 2014 and the 2017 Léonie Sonning Music Prize, Denmark’s highest musical honor.
Highlights of his 2019–20 season include a tour with Emmanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma performing Beethoven trios, and solo performances with the Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Montreal symphony orchestras, as well as with the Munich Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in Boston. In Europe, he performs with the Vienna Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Orchestra, and Orchestre de Paris, among others. He appears in Asia with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, and Taiwan Philharmonic orchestras.
Mr. Kavakos has developed close relationships with many of the world’s leading orchestras and, more recently, he has built a strong profile as a conductor. This season, he conducts the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Czech Philharmonic, and the Rai National Symphony Orchestra in Torino. He has an exclusive contract with Sony Classical, for which he has recently released an album of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto play-conducting with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. His upcoming recording projects include J.S. Bach’s complete solo sonatas and partitas.
Leonidas Kavakos plays the ‘Willemotte’ Stradivarius violin of 1734.