Since his first appearance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2002, the Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos has been a welcome guest. In 2013, the orchestra’s anniversary year, he accompanied the RCO on tour through Europe and the US as soloist in Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto.
In April 2015 he returned for Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto. During the 2014/2015, he was the first artist in residence in the history of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Kavakos’s international breakthrough came when he won the 1985 Sibelius Competition, followed by first prize at the Paganini Competition three years later. He has since performed with many leading orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. In recent years, he has been the subject of an ‘artist portrait’ with the London Symphony Orchestra and has served as artist in residence with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
In addition, Kavakos is increasingly active as a conductor, and to date has led such orchestras as the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony and the symphony orchestras of Boston and Atlanta. Kavakos plays the 'Willemotte'-Stradivarius, built in 1734.