Leonidas Kavakos makes his Decca Concerto Debut with Brahms

Leonidas Kavakos
Rebecca Davis Public Relations 

“Violinist’s violinist” performs with Gewandhausorchester and Riccardo Chailly

Hungarian folk music infuses an album also including Bartók Rhapsodies and Brahms Hungarian Dances (arr. Joachim) with Péter Nagy, piano

“Kavakos has, at his fingertips (or, perhaps more accurately, in his bow arm) both the silvery tone that many violinists prize, as well as a gutsy generous warmth where he needs it. His double stops are effortless, and his legato sounds as if he could draw it out forever. But most of all, he has the sense to use all this intelligently and to avoid anything showy.” Washington Post (on Kavakos’s performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto) 

Leonidas Kavakos has won plaudits for the virtuosity, musicianship and integrity of his playing. On October 8th Decca releases his interpretation of the richly romantic Brahms Violin Concerto, one of the great cornerstones of the violin repertoire, in his first concerto disc for the label. He is joined by the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under legendary Brahms specialist Riccardo Chailly.

On a disc that will firmly establish “the violinist’s violinist” (The Strad) as a concerto soloist for Decca Classics, Kavakos also digs deep into the Eastern European folk tradition in companion pieces. He is joined by pianist Péter Nagy in performances of Bartók’s energetic Rhapsodies and Romanian Folk Dances and a selection of Brahms’s timeless Hungarian Dances, rounding off a disc generously filled with spirited and charismatic music.

The Brahms release is a welcome follow-up to his three-CD set of Beethoven Violin Sonatas, which won warm reviews. NPR Music called Kavakos “A fantastically accomplished player,” going on to say, “He brings a shining and sweet tone to these works, but also taut muscularity and a sense of overall structure.” In a review of the Beethoven Sonatas, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, “The Greek violinist has risen to the top of his profession in tandem with artistic evolution that few artists experience over a lifetime, much less a dozen years.” 

In November of this year, Kavakos will perform with the Boston Symphony in which he will be both conductor and soloist on Mozart’s Concerto No. 4 (November 14-19). In February 2014 he will collaborate with Enrico Pace, his partner on the Beethoven Sonatas Decca recording debut, in performances of those Sonatas in Boston (2/23), Philadelphia (2/25), Princeton (2/27) and three evenings at Carnegie Hall (March 2-4). In May, Kavakos performs with the New York Philharmonic and Atlanta Symphony.