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Tuesday, December 10 at 7:30 pm

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

Leonidas Kavakos, Violin

Gerard Schwarz, conductor

Loosely based on a chant by the Renaissance visionary Hildegard von Bingen as well as a Tibetan Buddhist ideal, the awe-inspiring Rainbow Body by American living composer Christopher Theofanidis captures a halo around the melody, creating a wet acoustic by emphasizing the lingering reverberations one might hear in an old cathedral.  Violin sensation Leonidas Kavakos, acclaimed for his matchless technique, captivating artistry, and superb musicianship, promises to enrapture us as he performs Brahms’ impassioned Violin Concerto.  Said to be inspired by Brahms’ compositional style, Dvořák’s profoundly intimate Seventh Symphony comes after experiencing the deaths of his daughter and mother in which he examines the meanderings of his soul and the search for answers to elementary issues of human existence.

Leonidas Kavakos is recognized across the world as a violinist and artist of rare quality, acclaimed for his matchless technique, his captivating artistry and his superb musicianship, and the integrity of his playing. He works regularly with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors and plays as recitalist in the world’s premier halls and festivals.


Kavakos has developed close relationships with major orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Kavakos also works closely with the Dresden Staatskapelle, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich Philharmonic and Budapest Festival orchestras, Orchestre de Paris, Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala.


In recent years, Kavakos has succeeded in building a strong profile as a conductor and has conducted the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Gürzenich Orchester, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Filarmonica Teatro La Fenice, and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Most recently he had a great success conducting the Israel Philharmonic.


In the 23/24 season, Kavakos is honored as guest soloist at Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti, as well as soloist at the CSO’s own Symphony Ball during its opening week. He will join the orchestra again for Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in November. Other US engagements include performances with the Boston Symphony and San Francisco Symphony, and a series of recitals with his regular partners Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. Kavakos will perform a number of concerts throughout Europe including with the Wiener Symphoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Berlin, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony; and will play-conduct the Philharmonia Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He will also conduct the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.


Kavakos is an exclusive recording artist with Sony Classics. Recent releases include Bach: Sei Solo and the re-release of his 2007 recording of the complete Beethoven Sonatas with Enrico Pace, for which he was named Echo Klassik Instrumentalist of the year. In 2022 Kavakos released Beethoven for Three: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 5 arranged for trio, with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. The second album from this series included Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral” and was released in November 2022, with further recordings planned for the 23-24season.


Born and brought up in a musical family in Athens, Kavakos curates an annual violin and chamber music masterclass in Athens, which attracts violinists and ensembles from all over the world. He plays the ‘Willemotte’ Stradivarius violin of 1734.


Christopher Theofanidis (b. 1967)

Rainbow Body

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77

Leonidas Kavakos, violin


Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904)

Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70, B. 141

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