Leonidas Kavakos

credit Marco Borggreve

Leonidas Kavakos was born in Athens and by the age of 21, had won three major competitions: the Sibelius Competition in 1985, and the Paganini and Naumburg competitions in 1988. This success led to him make the first recording in history of the original Sibelius Violin Concerto (1903/4), which won Gramophone’s Concerto Award in 1991.

Kavakos now works with the world’s greatest conductor and orchestras. Recent highlights include a season as Artist-in-Residence with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, recitals with Yo-Yo Ma and Emmanuel Ax at the Tanglewood Festival where he also appeared as conductor and soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is "Artiste Etoile" at the 2019 Lucerne Festival. He is an exclusive recording artist with Sony Classical.

During the 2019/20 season, Kavakos joins Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax for three Beethoven programmes in Carnegie Hall. He also undertakes two tours to Asia, in one, playing the complete Beethoven Sonatas with Enrico Pace in Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Kavakos is also active as a conductor and has directed orchestras such as the Boston and London Symphony orchestras, the New York Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

Among his many recordings are Beethoven violin sonatas with Enrico Pace, Brahms piano trios with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma, Brahms’s Violin Concerto with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly, Brahms violin sonatas with Yuja Wang, and Mendelssohn’s and Mozart’s violin concertos with Camerata Salzburg.

Leonidas Kavakos was awarded Gramophone Artist of Year in 2014 and in 2017, Denmark’s Léonie Sonning Music Prize. He plays the 1734 "Willemotte" Stradivari violin.

 

As of September 2019