The Vienna Philharmonic has made the unprecedented decision to replace conductor Riccardo Chailly, who was to conduct the orchestra’s 73rd annual Ball on 23 January, with a soloist. Violinist Leonidas Kavakos (pictured), who has been touring the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the orchestra, will now take on the role of soloist/conductor, leading the Philharmonic in Weber’s Oberon Overture and performing Kreisler’s Liebesfreud – the first time in the history of the Ball that the conductor will also play. Chailly has withdrawn from the performance due to family reasons.
In addition to his performing career, Kavakos has been developing an expanding profile on the podium, and has conducted orchestras including the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. In the USA, the Decca artist has conducted the Boston, Atlanta and Saint Louis symphony orchestras. During the 2013-14 season he will make conducting debuts with the London Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Kavakos will also be appearing as soloist in Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor under Vladimir Jurowski at London’s Southbank Centre on Wednesday 22 January.
Photo: Daniel Regan