Performance Sunday, March 2, 2014 | 7:30 PM

Leonidas Kavakos
Enrico Pace

Zankel Hall
Playing with a “balance of pyrotechnics and lyricism” (The New York Times), spirited violinist Leonidas Kavakos has established himself as an artist who not only plays music, but expressively inhabits it. He embarks on a complete survey of Beethoven’s violin sonatas with pianist Enrico Pace in this program—the first of three evenings—that showcases the ample range of characters, techniques, and styles in these lauded works.


  • Leonidas Kavakos, Violin
  • Enrico Pace, Piano


  • BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major, Op. 30, No. 1
  • BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 12, No. 3
  • BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 12, No. 2
  • BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 7 in C Minor, Op. 30, No. 2

  • Encore:
  • SCHUBERT Andantino from Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major, D. 574, "Duo"

Event Duration

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


  • Leonidas Kavakos

    Leonidas Kavakos became internationally recognized while still in his teens when he won the Sibelius Competition in 1985 and, three years later, the Paganini and Naumburg competitions. Mr. Kavakos has since developed close relationships with the world's major orchestras and conductors, such as the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly. In the 2012-2013 season, Mr. Kavakos was artist-in-residence with the London Symphony Orchestra and Berliner Philharmoniker, and he performed with the Royal Concertgebouw on its Jubilee tour. In the 2013-2014 season, he makes his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Mr. Chailly. In the US, he regularly performs with the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, the Chicago and Boston symphony orchestras, and The Philadelphia Orchestra.

    Mr. Kavakos has appeared as conductor-soloist with such orchestras as the Boston and Atlanta and symphony orchestras; St. Louis Symphony; Royal Stockholm and La Scala philharmonics; Finnish Radio, Gothenburg, and Vienna symphony orchestras; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; Budapest Festival Orchestra; and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He makes conducting debuts this season with the London Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

    As a chamber musician and recitalist, Mr. Kavakos often appears at the Verbier, Montreux-Vevey, Bad Kissingen, Edinburgh, and Salzburg festivals. For 15 years, he also curated a chamber music cycle at the Athens Megaron Concert Hall in his native Greece.

    Since 2012, Mr. Kavakos has been an exclusive Decca recording artist. His first release on the label, Beethoven's complete violin sonatas with Enrico Pace, was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award and garnered him the 2013 ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year award. In conjunction with the CD release, Mr. Kavakos presented the Beethoven cycle in many European cities, including London and Vienna with Emanuel Ax; and Amsterdam, Milan (where he and Pace were awarded the prestigious Abbiati Prize) and the Salzburg Festival with Mr. Pace.

    Mr. Kavakos's second disc with Decca, released in October 2013, is of the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Later in the 2013-2014 season, he records the Brahms violin sonatas with pianist Yuja Wang, with whom he will subsequently give a series of Brahms recitals in major European cities.

    In November 2013, Mr. Kavakos was awarded an honorary doctorate by the New England Conservatory.

    Mr. Kavakos plays the "Abergavenny" Stradivarius violin of 1724.

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  • Enrico Pace

    Winning the 1989 International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht launched Enrico Pace's international career. Since then, he has toured extensively, performing in cities such as Amsterdam, Milan, Rome, Berlin, London, Dublin, Munich, Salzburg, Prague, and various locations in South America. He has also performed at numerous festivals, including La Roque-d'Anthéron, Verbier, Lucerne, Rheingau, Schleswig-Holstein, and Husum.

    A popular soloist, Mr. Pace has performed with major orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Munich, BBC, Rotterdam, and Netherlands philharmonics; Bamberger Symphoniker; Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; and Sydney and Melbourne symphony orchestras, among many others. He has worked with conductors such as David Robertson, Andrey Boreyko, Mark Elder, Lawrence Foster, Gianandrea Noseda, Carlo Rizzi, Vassily Sinaisky, and Antoni Wit.

    An avid chamber musician, Mr. Pace participates regularly in chamber music festival and has performed with the Keller Quartet, RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, Quartetto Prometeo, cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, clarinetist Sharon Kam, and horn player Marie Luise Neunecker.

    Mr. Pace enjoys ongoing partnerships with violinists Leonidas Kavakos, Frank Peter Zimmermann, and Liza Ferschtman. With Mr. Kavakos and cellist Patrick Demenga, he recorded Mendelssohn's piano trios (Sony Classical). His recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin with Mr. Kavakos was released by Decca Classics in January 2013 and was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award. With Mr. Zimmermann, he recorded the Busoni Violin Sonata No. 2 and Bach's six sonatas for violin and piano, BWV 1014-1019, for Sony Classical. In 2011, Mr. Pace's solo recording of Liszt's Années de pèlerinage "Suisse" and "Italie" was released on the Piano Classics label to great acclaim.

    Highlights of past and coming seasons include solo engagements with the Netherlands Philharmonic, Residentie Orchestra, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Gothenburg and London symphony orchestras, and Rheinische Philharmonie; the Beethoven sonata cycle with Mr. Kavakos in Athens, Florence, Milan, Amsterdam, Moscow, and Tokyo, and at the Salzburg Festival, in addition to duo recitals in the US, Germany, and China; Bach sonatas with Mr. Zimmermann in New York, Amsterdam, Zurich, Frankfurt, Bamberg, and Japan; recitals with violist Antoine Tamestit in Zurich, Frankfurt, and Cologne; and solo recitals in Amsterdam and Munich.

    Born in Rimini, Italy, Mr. Pace studied piano with Franco Scala at the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro and later at the Accademia Pianistica Incontri Col Maestro in Imola. Jacques De Tiège was another valued mentor.

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At a Glance

This evening's concert initiates a three-part survey of Beethoven's 10 sonatas for violin and piano. Such overviews are rare compared to the "cycles" of Beethoven's 16 string quartets, 32 piano sonatas, and nine symphonies that have been a fixture of musical life in the United States and Europe since the 19th century. Yet Beethoven's contribution to the duet literature for violin and piano was hardly less distinctive than his work in these other genres. Indeed, his path-breaking solution to the problem of blending the disparate voices of the string and keyboard instruments in a well-integrated and evenly balanced ensemble established a model that has challenged and inspired composers ever since.

All but one of Beethoven's violin sonatas were written in an intense burst of activity that span the half-dozen years between 1797 and 1803. At the beginning of this period, he was just beginning to make his mark in Vienna as a composer, with such comparatively conventional works as the Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op. 16, and the Op. 9 String Trios. By 1803, the composer of the "Eroica" Symphony and the "Waldstein" Piano Sonata had become a major force in the emerging Romantic movement. The four sonatas on tonight's program—two each from the Op. 12 and Op. 30 sets—trace the evolution of Beethoven's early style as he adapted the Classical idiom of Mozart and Haydn to his own expressive purposes.
Program Notes


Carnegie Hall's Director of Artistic Planning, Jeremy Geffen, discusses Beethoven's Violin Sonatas.


Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 6 in A Major, Op. 30, No. 1 (Allegro)
Leonidas Kavakos, Violin | Enrico Pace, Piano


Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 6 in A Major, Op. 30, No. 1 (Adagio molto espressivo)
Leonidas Kavakos, Violin | Enrico Pace, Piano


Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 6 in A Major, Op. 30, No. 1 (Allegretto con variazioni)
Leonidas Kavakos, Violin | Enrico Pace, Piano

Lead funding for Vienna: City of Dreams is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This performance is part of Chamber Sessions I, and Vienna: City of Dreams.

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