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Leila Josefowicz

Leila Josefowicz headshot


Leila Josefowicz’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music for the violin is reflected in her diverse programs and enthusiasm for performing new works. A favorite of living composers, Josefowicz has premiered many concertos, including those by Colin Matthews, Luca Francesconi, John Adams, and Esa-Pekka Salonen, all written specially for her.

Artist-in-residence of Iceland Symphony Orchestra for the 2023-24 season, Josefowicz will perform Helen Grime’s Violin Concerto with Daniel Bjarnason and Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with Eva Ollikainen, as well as present a solo recital at Harpa Hall. Elsewhere, Josefowicz’s season includes engagements with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Musikkollegium Winterthur, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Lahti, Milwaukee, Taipei and Antwerp symphony orchestras. Josefowicz also presents the world premiere of Jüri Reinvere’s Concerto for Violin and Harp with Trina Struble and the Cleveland Orchestra, and tours Germany and Austria with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie with concerts Berlin, Vienna, and Dresden.

Highlights of recent seasons include appearances with Berlin Philharmonic; Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Konzerthausorchester Berlin; Dresden Philharmonie, Oslo, Helsinki, and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras; NDR Elbphilharmonie; the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, where she worked with conductors at the highest level, including Matthias Pintscher, John Storgårds, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Louis Langrée, Hannu Lintu, and John Adams.

Josefowicz enjoyed a close working relationship with the late Oliver Knussen, performing various concertos, including his violin concerto, together over 30 times. Other premieres have included Matthias Pintscher’s Assonanza with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, John Adams’ Scheherazade.2 with New York Philharmonic, Luca Francesconi’s Duende – The Dark Notes with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Steven Mackey’s Beautiful Passing with BBC Philharmonic.

Together with John Novacek, with whom she has enjoyed a close collaboration since 1985, Josefowicz has performed recitals at world-renowned venues such as New York’s Zankel Hall and Park Avenue Armory, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center and Library of Congress, and London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as in Reykjavik, Trento, Bilbao, and Chicago. This season their collaboration continues with recitals in California, appearing at Festival Mozaic, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco Performances, and Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Colburn Celebrity Recital series.

Josefowicz has released several recordings, notably for Deutsche Grammophon, Philips/Universal, and Warner Classics, and was featured on Touch Press’s acclaimed iPad app, The Orchestra. Her latest recording, released in 2019, features Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. She has previously received nominations for Grammy Awards for her recordings of Scheherazade.2 with St Louis Symphony conducted by David Robertson, and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer.

In recognition of her outstanding achievement and excellence in music, she won the 2018 Avery Fisher Prize and was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2008, joining prominent scientists, writers, and musicians who have made unique contributions to contemporary life.

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