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Leonidas Kavakos

by Dionysis Malouhos

Greece can rightly be proud that it has produced one of the most important, well-known and acclaimed soloists of our times. Leonidas Kavakos’ international reputation is constantly on the rise as the famous violinist now receives invitations every year from some of the world’s most important music festivals such as the London Proms or the Bonn Beethovenfest. He has collaborated with the world’s most important orchestras, such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra (in the 2014-2015 season), as a soloist and as a conductor (at the Florentine May Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra). He has appeared in the world’s most important concert halls and performed with leading soloists and conductors. He has been universally praised by newspaper critics, specialist journals, sites and blogs for his excellent performances and his great virtuosity and skill. His masterclasses have an endless waiting list of interested students whether held in London, Boston or Athens. He has received the highest accolades such as the recent Artist of the Year Award in the 2014 awards conferred by the respected British Gramophone journal, and his records are much awaited events. When one is released it is considered something special, and the recordings are immediately popular.

In the spring of 2014, DECCA released a CD featuring Leonidas Kavakos along with the up-and-coming Chinese pianist Yuja Wang, playing Johannes Brahms 3 Sonatas for violin and piano, which are utterly demanding but charming pieces from the chamber music repertoire, as well as the well-known lullaby which was Brahms' contribution to the F-A-E Sonata (Scherzo in C minor). The collaboration between these two talented musicians was a great success and they were lucky to have the traditionally excellent quality recordings of this specific record label as their ally.

A key feature of their performance that one can clearly hear on the CD is the naturalness of the musical expression and melodic line, the inspired romantic mood, the exceptionally refined sound and timbre of each and every note that can be heard, the synchronised breathing and the way in which the composer’s intentions and style have been fully respected.

This is a record that’s going to be a real reference point.

Note: The CD was presented at the Athens Concert Hellas on 14 October 2014.