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Leonidas Kavakos (Violin soloist)

Leonidas Kavakos is one of today‘s most sought after virtuoso violinists. Born in Athens Kavakos began studying violin with his father, continuing his studies at the Greek Conservatory with Stelios Kafantaris. An Onassis Foundation scholarship enabled him to attend master classes with Joseph Gingold at Indiana University, and he made his concert debut at the Athens Festival in 1984.

Kavakos‘ European reputation spread rapidly following his winning of both the Sibelius Competition in 1985 and the Paganini competition in 1988. Major debuts at the London/BBC Proms and international festivals in Edinburgh, Salzburg, Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Saratoga, and the Hollywood Bowl, were followed by invitations to play with most of the world‘s leading orchestras. These have included the London Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, and in North America the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Toronto, and the orchestras of Cleveland and Philadelphia. As an orchestral soloist, Kavakos has worked with many celebrated conductors including, Conlon, Dutoit, Neeme Jдrvi, Sir Andrew Davis, Gergiev, Metzmacher, Norrington, and Salonen as well as Slatkin, Vдnskд, Vegh, Sawallisch and Welser-Mцst.

In May 2003, Kavakos will make his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Other major debuts in this season have been with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He has also toured with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestras, performed at Carnegie Hall with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Sawallisch, in London with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Masur, and has appeared at the BBC Proms, and the Lucerne and Edinburgh Festivals.

An active chamber musician, Kavakos has been the Artistic Director of his own chamber music cycle in the Megaron, Athens since 1992. He regularly appears at some of the world‘s foremost chamber music festivals, collaborating with such distinguished partners as Davidovich, Gutman, Imai, Kashkashian, Rostropovich and Vogt. From winning the 1991 Gramophone Award for the world premiere recording of the original version of the Sibelius concerto (BIS), he has recently gone on to record the Hindemith concerto (Chandos), a CD of solo sonatas by Ysaye (BIS), cited as the best recording of the works ever to be made, and a critically acclaimed recording of music by Kreisler (BIS).

Recently appointed the first ever Principal Guest Artist of the Camerata Salzburg, this unique association offers Kavakos the opportunity to create programmes, conduct and play in the world‘s most renowned venues with this celebrated ensemble.

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