Greek violin soloist triumphs in Moscow

MOSCOW – It was barely a few seconds after Leonidas Kavakos had put his violin down when the audience erupted in a standing ovation. The acclaimed Greek violinist performed in front of a 1,600-strong audience at the well-known Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, at the premiere of the distinguished Moscow Easter Festival on Easter Sunday. The Greek soloist interpreted Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, accompanied by the Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater and the ensemble’s artistic director, world-renowned maestro Valery Gergiev. There was more than the audience’s applause: At the end of a difficult performance, Gergiev gave Kavakos a hug, while the rest of the orchestra cheered. Among those present at the festival premiere were Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzkov – who ascended the stage to give Kavakos a bouquet of flowers – a number of ministers, representatives of Russia’s Patriarch Alexei as well as artists. Sadly, there was no official Greek representative. Just a few minutes after the end of the concert, Kavakos was very moved when he talked to Kathimerini. «What else can I say? I am so happy to open this festival, next to this maestro, with this orchestra and in this concert hall which is sacred to a violinist because if you think about who has performed here (Richter, Shostakovich), you are filled with awe.» On the subject of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, the Greek soloist noted that while he has interpreted the specific work a number of times, the Moscow experience was unique, thanks to the orchestra and its maestro. «Gergiev is a musician in the true sense of the word,» he said. «He puts his talent to good use by searching for the political dimension of music. He has managed to get Russian politicians to act, as well as a number of people around the world who support his work through major productions.»

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