Acclaimed Violinist Kavakos Returns to Greece to Conduct ASO in Four Cities

January 7, 2018

Acclaimed Greek violinist and conductor Leonidas Kavakos speaks to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) shortly before his four concerts with the Athens State Orchestra (ASO) in Greece, three of which will take place outside the capital, in an effort to bring classical music to a wider audience.

Kavakos has given up his fee for the purchase of musical instruments for the ASO and for several charities that operate in the cities where he will appear.

Q: What was your motive to appear outside of Athens?

Kavakos: It is something that I am very concerned about today. We are, unfortunately, the only European country where essentially, the people who live either because of ancestry or by choice in provinces, are culturally doomed. And not only culturally, but in other aspects as well. So when we started talking about our cooperation with the ASO- the first concert was in Kalamata in 2016 – I said from the beginning that I want these concerts to be equal to what we would have done at the Athens Concert Hall or in some city abroad. [I wanted] To transfer this kind of concert style to cities that have neither the ability nor the knowledge to organize similar events, nor of course to pay for them. I would like, of course, to have the support of local authorities, because the concerts we will give should also activate the local community.

Q: Talk to us about your relationship with ASO.

Kavakos: My relationship with the ASO is very old, because my father was in the orchestra for many years. I often went to the concerts since I started playing violin, six years old, and for a decade. I knew my father’s colleagues and friends and they knew me since I was a child. Some of my first musical steps were taken with the ASO. It was followed an odd gap and then, some years ago, there was a collaboration with the orchestra as a soloist. The approach came now – and this is important – by the orchestra’s musicians who wanted an artistic reunification partnership, which I am very pleased with.

Q: You have worked with top orchestras. How do you evaluate the Greek ones?

Kavakos: Greece, compared to its size, has an inconceivable number of talents. It’s admirable. What is pitiful, is how many of these people remain raw talents. Since I was a boy I was experiencing the Greek reality and the prospects of youngsters who returned to Greece with postgraduate studies from abroad and could not channel their enthusiasm into collaborations because the conditions were bad. This youthful dynamism evaporated very quickly. My wish is to end this. Let’s start with the few and essential things that really need to be done. Greek orchestras, while they have musicians of the highest level, cannot sound like big orchestras abroad because the soul of the orchestra and its history is determined by the person who guides them. And I also think that here in Greece, unfortunately, Greek orchestras cannot attract exceptional quality musicians due to budget restrictions.

Kavakos and the ASO will play in Agrinio on January 13 and in Patras on January 14. The dates for the other two concerts were not yet available.


LONDON - A second generation Greek-Cypriot in London, Georgina Hayden has used her heritage to write cookbooks showing off recipes from her homeland and her latest, Greekish, offers everything from Baklava cheesecake to Burnt Butter Eggs and Goat’s Cheese.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Alberto, Season’s First Named Tropical Storm, Dumps Rain on Texas and Mexico, Which Reports 3 Deaths

TAMPICO, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Alberto rumbled toward northeast Mexico early Thursday as the first named storm of the season, carrying heavy rains that left three people dead but also brought hope to a region suffering under a prolonged, severe drought.

LONDON (AP) — Taylor Swift fans enjoy parsing the singer-songwriter’s lyrics for references to her romantic life and insights into her state of her mind.

PARIS (AP) — The alleged rape of a 12-year-old Jewish girl in a suspected antisemitic attack has sent shockwaves throughout France and thrust concerns about antisemitism to the forefront of campaigning for the country’s legislative elections.

ATLANTA (AP) — Lionel Messi's passing brilliance got Argentina off to a winning start in the defense of its Copa America title, overcoming Canada and a poor playing surface at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Robin Alderman faces an agonizing reality: Gene therapy might cure her son Camden’s rare, inherited immune deficiency.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.