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Carnegie Hall Presents

Leonidas Kavakos, Violin
Yuja Wang, Piano

Thursday, November 4, 2021 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Yuja Wang and Leonidas Kavakos by Decca / Ben Ealovega
Violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Yuja Wang share the stage for an evening of high-voltage music. “Astoundingly virtuosic and blazingly insightful” (The Guardian), Kavakos is an artist with whom other music masters love to collaborate. He has an ideal musical partner in Wang, “quite simply the most dazzlingly, uncannily gifted pianist in the concert world today” (San Francisco Chronicle). Each are outstanding soloists, but together “they sound like a single organism” (Financial Times), and are certain to leave you breathless with the beauty and intensity of their performance. 

Part of: Great Artists I, Leonidas Kavakos, and Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR

Performers

Leonidas Kavakos, Violin
Yuja Wang, Piano

Program

J. S. BACH Violin Sonata in E Major, BWV 1016

BUSONI Violin Sonata No. 2

SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Sonata


Encore:

STRAVINSKY Movement V (Dithyrambe) from Duo Concertant

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

Listen on WQXR.

Listen to Selected Works

At a Glance

J. S. BACH  Violin Sonata No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1016

It was during his six happy years in the employ of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen that Bach wrote much of his most beloved instrumental music, including the “Brandenburg” Concertos, the solo suites and sonatas for unaccompanied violin and cello, and the sonatas for violin and keyboard, BWV 1014–1019. All were grouped in sets of six, which the systematic composer evidently intended to illustrate various genres of chamber music.

 

BUSONI  Violin Sonata No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 36a

Busoni was a lifelong student and admirer of Bach’s contrapuntal mastery. He likened the Baroque master’s music to “an old, sturdy oak-tree … that continues to put forth the greenest and freshest of shoots.” A case in point is Busoni’s Second Violin Sonata, whose monumental finale is a set of variations based on a Bach chorale, topped off with an intricately contrapuntal fugue. The sonata was a pivotal work in the career of the 42-year-old composer, who considered it his true Opus 1.

 

SHOSTAKOVICH  Violin Sonata, Op. 134

Composed in 1968, Shostakovich’s Violin Sonata has much in common with his youthful, high-spirited Cello Sonata of 1934 and the elegiac Viola Sonata of 1975. At the same time, the score features two notable distinctive elements: It marks Shostakovich’s first use of 12-note melodies and his last use of the Baroque passacaglia form. In its marriage of old and new, the work illustrates Shostakovich’s advice to his fellow musicians: “By building bridges into the future, we must take care not to burn the bridges connecting today’s culture to its immortal past.”

Bios

Leonidas Kavakos

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 ...

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. 

Mr. 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, Mr. 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. 

Mr. 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, Mr. 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.

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Yuja Wang

Celebrated for her charismatic artistry, emotional honesty, and captivating stage presence, Yuja Wang has performed with the world’s most venerated conductors, musicians, and ...

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.

Ms. 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’s Must the Devil Have all the Good Tunes? with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel.

As a chamber musician, Ms. Wang has developed long-lasting partnerships with several leading artists, notably violinist Leonidas Kavakos, with whom she recorded Brahms’s complete violin sonatas. Mr. Kavakos joins her in duo recitals in the US 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.  

 

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