NEW YORK – Renowned violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Yuja Wang performed once again at the legendary Carnegie Hall on November 4 dazzling the crowd with an impressive program that highlighted the artists’ tremendous talent and their skills in collaboration. It should be noted that Athens native Kavakos had performed in March of 2020 in a wonderful series of concerts just days before the pandemic lockdown. The return of these gifted artists to the historic stage of Carnegie Hall was welcomed by the appreciative audience who had sorely missed live performances by the outstanding stars of classical music.
The evening began with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Violin Sonata in E Major, BWV 1016, a lovely piece that showcased Kavakos and Wang’s artistry in the wonderful back and forth between the violin and piano, especially in the Allegro.
Next on the program, Ferruccio Busoni’s dramatic Violin Sonata No. 2, allowed the artists to display their impressive range and dexterity in the variety of moods and themes in the piece. As noted in the program, “the sonata culminates in a Bachian fugue that neatly encompasses past, present, and future.”
The program concluded with Dmitri Shostakovich’s evocative Violin Sonata, Op. 134, the most modern piece of the evening. This dynamic work offered wonderful moments for the musicians to shine, highlighting their virtuosity in dramatic solo sections.
The audience applauded enthusiastically and gave a standing ovation at the end of the concert which led Kavakos and Wang to return and perform a beautiful encore.
Kavakos will return in 2022 to Carnegie Hall as part of the dream team of musicians with pianist Emanuel Ax and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, performing an all-Beethoven program on March 8, and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on March 14 to premiere an eagerly anticipated new work by award-winning composer Unsuk Chin.
Leonidas Kavakos is recognized around the world as a violinist and artist of rare quality, acclaimed for his matchless technique, captivating artistry, superb musicianship, and the integrity of his playing. He works with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors, and plays as a recitalist in premier halls and at international festivals.
Kavakos has developed close relationships with major orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He also works closely with the Staatskapelle Dresden, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala.
In recent years, Kavakos has built a strong profile as a conductor, and has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Gürzenich Orchester Köln, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestra Filarmonica della Fenice, and Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
Kavakos is an exclusive recording artist with Sony Classical. Recent releases from the Beethoven 250th anniversary year include the Violin Concerto, which he play-conducted with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; and the re-release of his 2007 recording of Beethoven’s complete sonatas with Enrico Pace, for which he was named ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year.
Born into a musical family in Athens, Kavakos curates an annual violin and chamber-music master class in his home city, which attracts violinists and ensembles from all over the world. He plays the “Willemotte” Stradivarius violin of 1734.
Celebrated for her charismatic artistry, emotional honesty, and captivating stage presence, Yuja Wang has performed with the world’s most venerated conductors, musicians, and ensembles. She is renowned not only for her virtuosity, but also for her spontaneous and lively performances. Her skill and charisma were recently demonstrated in her performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala in October 2021, following its historic 572 days of closure.
Wang was born into a musical family in Beijing. After childhood piano studies in China, she received advanced training in Canada and at the Curtis Institute of Music under Gary Graffman. Her international breakthrough came in 2007, when she replaced Martha Argerich as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, she signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, and has since established her place among the world’s leading artists with a succession of critically acclaimed performances and recordings. She was named Musical America’s Artist of the Year in 2017, and in 2021, she received an OPUS Klassik Award for her world-premiere recording of John Adams’ Must the Devil Have all the Good Tunes? with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel.
As a chamber musician, Wang has developed long-lasting partnerships with several leading artists, notably violinist Leonidas Kavakos, with whom she recorded Brahms’ complete violin sonatas. Kavakos joins her in duo recitals in the U.S. this fall. In 2022, she embarks on a highly anticipated international recital tour, which sees her perform in world-class venues across North America, Europe, and Asia, astounding audiences with her flair, technical ability, and exceptional artistry in a wide-ranging program that includes J. S. Bach, Beethoven, and Schoenberg.
More information is available online: https://www.carnegiehall.org/.