The Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer’s talent and trajectory were clear from early days, studying in Riga then at the Moscow Conservatory with David Oistrakh, followed by prestigious prizes. Recordings and performances throughout the world of core repertoire have always gone hand in hand with contemporary works. In 1997 he founded Kremerata Baltica, an acclaimed chamber orchestra comprising young musicians from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Tribute by Martin Cullingford
If a person can be defined by the company he keeps, Gidon Kremer’s collaborators – in chamber music, Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky; in concertos, Leonard Bernstein and Nikolaus Harnoncourt – speak volumes about him as a musician. But to such a list, we must add composers too. Kremer’s extraordinary communicative gifts as a soloist in the core classical repertoire have been lent with equal passion to the music of our time, whether Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli, Sofia Gubaidulina, Peteris Vasks, John Adams, Philip Glass or many others. A rewarding and substantial discography, for DG, Nonesuch, ECM and others, embodies something often said of many great artists but particularly pertinent to Kremer: that hearing him play familiar repertoire is to hear a work as if being discovered afresh, by him, and by extension by us. As he marks his 70th birthday, it’s a pleasure to welcome him into the Hall of Fame.