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Leonidas Kavakos chats with WBAA Radio about 'Virtuoso'

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Interview with WBAA's John Clare

There's a new recording by Leonidas Kavakos, it's titled Virtuoso. There are solo violin pieces as well as gems by Britten, Dvorak, and Sarasate. His first release on Decca Classics, the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas with Enrico Pace (January 2013), won the ECHO Klassik award ‘Instrumentalist of the Year.' That was followed by Brahms with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Riccardo Chailly (October 2013), and Brahms Violin Sonatas with Yuja Wang, (March 2014). In 2014 he was awarded Gramophone Artist of the Year.

Kavakos recognizes three important mentors in his life: Stelios Kafantaris, Josef Gingold and Ferenc Rados. Leonidas won the Sibelius Competition in 1985, and the Paganini and Naumburg competitions in 1988. These successes led to his recording the original Sibelius Violin Concerto (1903/4), the first recording of this work in history. It won Gramophone Concerto of the Year Award in 1991.

More recently, Leonidas Kavakos has started conducting. "It's more aspiration, than ambition," Leonidas told WBAA's Music Director John Clare. Listen to their interview about the new release and conducting.