Leonidas Kavakos, the Greek violinist, has signed to Decca. His first recording for the label will be a complete set of the Beethoven sonatas, with pianist Enrico Pace, while later releases will include the Brahms Violin Concerto (conducted by Riccardo Chailly) and the complete solo violin music of Bach.
Recent recordings by Kavakos include a well-received Mozart violin concerto set, with the Camerata Salzburg, released by Sony Classical in 2006, in the review of which Gramophone described him as 'a lucid, urbane Mozartian, lithe and sweet of tone and minutely attentive to the composer's articulation markings'. Praise in our pages goes back further however: in 1991 he won the Concerto Award at the Gramophone Awards for his recording of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto in its original version (on BIS). Chamber music and conducting also play an important role in Kavakos's schedule, and he will also be the subject of a UBS Soundscapes LSO Artist Portrait in next year's Barbican season.
Decca's managing director Paul Moseley, paid tribute to his new signing in a statement, saying 'Since his pioneering recording of the original Sibelius concerto 20 years ago, Leonidas Kavakos has slowly and surely risen to the top of the violinists' tree. He is now the first choice of great conductors and orchestras around the world. With Leonidas possibilities begin where most other violinists run out of options. So the time is right for Decca to team up with him to record major keystones of the repertoire.'
Kavakos, who plays the 'Abergavenny' Stradivarius of 1724, added that he was 'very much look forward to recording repertoire that has been a cornerstone of my existence and development over many years'.