The New York Philharmonic has named violinist and conductor Leonidas Kavakos The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence for the 2016–17 season. His residency features three solo appearances in repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the contemporary, his Philharmonic conducting debut, a recital with pianist Yuja Wang (presented in association with Lincoln Center’s Great Performers),and a Young People’s Concert. Also in the season he appears with The Philadelphia Orchestra; plays and conducts the Houston Symphony; embarks on a recital tour with Ms. Wang in both Europe and the U.S.; and undertakes a European tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and a tour to Switzerland with the Mariinsky Orchestra.
Mr. Kavakos had already won three major competitions by age 21: the Sibelius (1985), the Paganini (1988), and the Naumburg (1988). This success led to his making the first recording in history of the original Sibelius Violin Concerto (1903–04), which won the 1991 Gramophone Concerto of the Year Award.
He has since appeared regularly as soloist with the Vienna, Berlin, New York, and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras; London, Boston, and Chicago symphony orchestras; and the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Philadelphia Orchestras. As a conductor Mr. Kavakos has worked with the Atlanta, Boston, London, and Vienna symphony orchestras; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; and Budapest Festival Orchestra. This season he makes conducting debuts with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
An exclusive Decca Classics recording artist, Mr. Kavakos’s first release on the label, of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas with pianist Enrico Pace (2013), earned him an ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year award. Later recordings include Brahms’s Violin Concerto with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly; Brahms’s violin sonatas with Yuja Wang; and, his most recent recording, Virtuoso (released in April 2016). His earlier discography includes recordings for BIS, ECM, and Sony Classical. Mr. Kavakos was named Gramophone Artist of the Year 2014.
Leonidas Kavakos plays the “Abergavenny” Stradivarius violin of 1724.