Performance Monday, March 3, 2014 | 7:30 PM

Leonidas Kavakos
Enrico Pace

Zankel Hall
Beethoven swept across the face of music like a hurricane passing over a gentle neighborhood, leaving it transformed beyond recognition, with his series of violin sonatas. His take on the classical form turned the traditional approach on its head, with piano and violin switching between melody and accompaniment, discoursing contrapuntally, and even assuming a concerto-like manner. Violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Enrico Pace bring to life this genre-changing series in a program that includes his beguiling and popular “Spring” Sonata.


  • Leonidas Kavakos, Violin
  • Enrico Pace, Piano


  • BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 23
  • BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24, "Spring"
  • BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 96

  • Encore:
  • BEETHOVEN Allegro Vivace from Violin Sonata No. 8 in G Major, Op. 30, No. 3

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

Like Beethoven's Op. 12 and Op. 30 sonatas, which were conceived as sets of three, the A-Minor and F-Major sonatas, Op. 23 and Op. 24, respectively, were originally intended to be published together. They make a striking pair. In the words of Beethoven's biographer Lewis Lockwood, Op. 23 "is bleak, odd, and distant, a neglected child in the family of Beethoven violin sonatas, despite its original and experimental moments." By contrast, none of Beethoven's 10 violin duos is more immediately likable than the "Spring" Sonata, Op. 24. Contemporary with such works as the Op. 18 string quartets, this evergreen masterpiece reflected his growing confidence and maturity as a chamber music composer.

Although Beethoven made his reputation as a virtuoso pianist in the 1790s, he learned to play the violin as a child and remained keenly interested in the technical innovations introduced by such violinists as Rodolphe Kreutzer and Pierre Rode. The latter, a professor at the prestigious Paris Conservatoire, served as solo violinist to both Napoleon Bonaparte and Alexander I of Russia. He was also a respected composer of concertos and chamber music (his 24 Caprices for solo violin have remained staples of the teaching repertoire to this day). It was with Rode's tasteful virtuosity in mind that Beethoven wrote his last violin sonata, Op. 96 in G Major, in 1812 after a hiatus of nearly a decade.
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 II, and Vienna: City of Dreams.

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