Friday, October 30, 2009

Leonidas Kavakos

Leonidas Kavakos is a Greek violinist born on October 30, 1967 (Perlman was 31 years old.) Kavakos is well known for his performances of the works of Nicolo Paganini. He began studying violin at age five and continued his studies at the Greek National Conservatory with Stelios Kafantaris. Later on, a scholarship enabled him to attend master classes with Joseph Gingold at Indiana University. He made his debut in Athens in 1984. In 1985, he won the International Sibelius Competition in Helsinki, where he was the youngest contestant. He also took a first prize at the Paganini violin competition in 1988. By then, he had made his U.S. debut (1986.) Since then, he has been concertizing all over the world and regularly plays in, organizes, and conducts at major festivals. In addition to the standard repertoire, which is part of his extensive discography, he has recorded both versions (on one CD) of the Sibelius violin concerto (on the BIS label.) His technique is second to none - YouTube has many videos of him. As far as I know, he still plays on the Falmouth Stradivarius (1692.)

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