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March 16 , 2005

LEONIDAS KAVAKOS: PRAISE, TOURS, TV

Leonidas Kavakos’ second recording for ECM collects praise from the international music press. “This a conversation across the ages that you don’t want to miss”, writes James R. Oestreich in the New York Times about the coupling of works for violin solo by Bach with Stravinsky’s Duo Concertant and his Suite italienne. The American critic sees Kavakos “thoroughly in his element throughout: He shows just how much Stravinsky and Bach have to say to each other.” The London Times on the other hand enjoy “wonderful performances” and admire Kavakos’ and pianist Péter Nagy’s “perfect control” in the Duo Concertant. The German weekly Die Zeit describes the Greek-Hungarian Duo’s playing as “clear, stylistically assured, inspired” while the magazine Fono Forum notes “musical command” and “tonal beauty.”

After one week dedicated exclusively to chamber music at his own Megaron Festival in Athens, Kavakos will tour major US-cities with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev in April. The Berlin Philharmonic, with whom the violinist gave his highly acclaimed debut in May 2003, invited him to perform with them at this year’s Europa Konzert in Budapest on the first of May. The concert, which is televised worldwide, will be conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Kavakos plays the second concerto by Béla Bartók.