Performance Saturday, November 22, 2014 | 8 PM

Leonidas Kavakos
Yuja Wang

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The New York Times has cited violinist Leonidas Kavakos’s playing for its “balance of pyrotechnics and lyricism,” while the San Francisco Chronicle called Yuja Wang “… quite simply the most dazzlingly, uncannily gifted pianist in the concert world today.” The superstar duo performs Schumann’s passionate Violin Sonata No. 2 and Brahms’s melodic Violin Sonata No. 2. Written during his years as a student and not published until after his death, Ravel's Violin Sonata is a charmingingly lyrical work, while Respighi's Violin Sonata in B Minor moves the heart with its haunting slow movement and quickens the pulse with daredevil fireworks in its finale.


  • Leonidas Kavakos, Violin
  • Yuja Wang, Piano


  • BRAHMS Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major
  • SCHUMANN Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Minor
  • RAVEL Violin Sonata (posthumous)
  • RESPIGHI Violin Sonata in B Minor

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


Stravinsky's Suite Italienne
Leonidas Kavakos, Violin | Peter Nagy, Piano

At a Glance

JOHANNES BRAHMS  Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 100

Composed between 1879 and 1888, Brahms’s three sonatas for violin and piano are works of mature and unostentatious mastery. In contrast to the Violin Concerto of 1878, the sonatas are predominantly intimate and conversational in tone. The warmth and intimacy of the A-Major Sonata reflect the composer’s close friendship and artistic collaboration with violinist Joseph Joachim.

ROBERT SCHUMANN  Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 121

Of the two violin sonatas that Schumann composed in the fall of 1851, No. 2 in D Minor was the more popular with contemporary audiences, probably because of its outgoing and frequently virtuosic character. Like Brahms, Schumann was diffident about writing for the violin and sought technical advice from Joachim and others. The sonata’s four movements are a tour de force for both players.

MAURICE RAVEL  Violin Sonata (posthumous)

Ravel’s bluesy Violin Sonata in G Major, premiered in 1927, has long been a staple of the chamber repertoire. Less well known is this single-movement Violin Sonata that the composer wrote three decades earlier, as a 22-year-old on-again, off-again student at the Paris Conservatoire. With its tender lyricism and adventurous harmonies, this short, beguiling work is a harbinger of Ravel’s mature style.   

OTTORINO RESPIGHI  Violin Sonata in B Minor

Respighi was still smarting from the disappointing reception of Fountains of Rome—the first of his symphonic poems and destined soon to be hugely popular—when he wrote this bracingly virtuosic sonata in 1917. The two works share a lyrical, richly textured late-Romantic idiom.  

Co-presented with the Onassis Cultural Center NY
This performance is part of Great Artists I, and All-Star Ensembles.

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