While virtuosity is the calling card for many artists today, it is only the jumping-off point for violinist Leonidas Kavakos, whose deeply emotional music making has garnered him the nickname a “fiddler’s fiddler.” Kavakos comes to Cal Performances for the first time Sunday, February 17 at 3:00 p.m. with an all-Beethoven program. This concert is also a celebration of his recent release of Beethoven’s complete violin sonatas on the Decca label. Kavakos will perform Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major, Op. 12, No.1; Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24, “Spring”; and Sonata No. 9 in A major, “Kreutzer” with pianist Enrico Pace. On Kavakos and Pace’s performance of the “Kreutzer” Sonata in concert, The New York Times wrote “their interpretation showed eminent poise and authority as well as a flexibility that attested to keen listening and added a welcome hint of spontaneity.”
This season Leonidas Kavakos is the focus of London Symphony Orchestra’s UBS Soundscapes LSO Artist Portrait and the Berliner Philharmonic’s Artist in Residence. He first rose to prominence as a teenager after winning the 1985 International Sibelius Competition, taking second prize at the 1986 Indianapolis International Violin Competition and first prize at both the 1988 Naumburg and Paganini competitions. He has since become known for his superb musicianship and virtuosity and has made a name performing as a soloist with the leading orchestras including Vienna Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Royal Concertgebouw and New York Philharmonic.
Kavakos is also an esteemed chamber musician and finds himself a favored artist at the Verbier, Montreux-Vevey, Bad Kissingen and Edinburgh festivals. In August 2012, he and Pace performed the complete Beethoven violin sonatas at the Salzburger Festival. The performance was recorded as part of a documentary about Kavakos by Bayerischer Rundfunk. His other chamber music partners have included Emanuel Ax, Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, Antoine Tamestit, Nikolai Lugansky and Yuja Wang. For more info, visit opus3artists.com/artists/leonidas-kavakos
Enrico Pace was born in Italy and studied piano with Franco Scala at the Rosssini Conservatory and the Accademia Pianistica Incontri col Maestro, Imola. He launched his career after winning the Ulrecht International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in 1989 and has since toured extensively all over the world. As a soloist he has performed with the Royal Concertgebouw, Munich Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and has worked with conductors Roberto Benzi, David Robertson, Andrey Boreyko and many more. In chamber music, Pace has performed with the Kellar Quartet, Quartetto Prometeo, cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, clarinetist Sharon Kam and others.
Tickets for Leonidas Kavakos on February 17 at 3:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are $48.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.