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The great Greek violinist, Leonidas Kavakos has been for almost two decades a regular soloist of the Budapest Festival Orchestra both in Budapest and abroad.

This brilliant artist has now returned to the BFO for the first time as conductor, leading on April 16th, 17th and 18th in the Italian Institute a programme of works by Weber, Bottesini and Schumann.

The concerts opened with Carl Maria von Weber’s overture to the opera Oberon, followed by two concertos. Bottesini’s Grand Duo Concertant for Violin, Double-Bass and Orchestra featured as soloists Violetta Eckhardt, the orchestra’s concert master and Zsolt Fejérvári, leader of the double-bass section. The Bottesini piece was followed by Weber’s Concertino in E-Flat Major for clarinet and orchestra – the soloist is Rudolf Szitka.

After the intermission Kavakos conducted Schumann’s Symphony No.2. Op.61.

Biography of Leonidas Kavakos:

This Greek violinist was born in 1967, and studied in Athens and later in the US under Joseph Gingold. At the age of eighteen he won the Helsinki International Sibelius Violin Competition. From this point on his career followed an unbroken upward path appearing with the most famous orchestras of the world. For some years he has been active as a conductor, as well. After having held the position of Principal Guest Artist of the Camerata Salzburg for six years, Kavakos was Artistic Director of the orchestra between 2007 and 2008. As a conductor he has appeared with the orchestra of the Scala in Milan, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of the Academy Santa Cecilia in Rome, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale, Florence. As a conductor Kavakos performed with the BFO for the first time.