Among the world’s leading violinists, Gidon Kremer has perhaps pursued the most unconventional career. Over the past five decades he has established and sustained a worldwide reputation as one of the most original and compelling artists of his generation. He has appeared on almost every major concert stage as recitalist and with the most celebrated orchestras of Europe and North America, and has worked with many of the greatest conductors of the past half century.
Gidon Kremer’s repertoire is unusually wide and strikingly varied. It encompasses the full span of classical and romantic masterworks for violin, together with music by such leading twentieth and twenty-first century composers as Berg, Henze and Stockhausen. His name is closely associated with such composers as Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli, Sofia Gubaidulina, Valentin Silvestrov, Luigi Nono, Edison Denisov, Aribert Reimann, Pēteris Vasks, John Adams, Victor Kissine, Michael Nyman, Philip Glass, Leonid Desyatnikov and Astor Piazzolla, whose works he performs in ways that respect tradition while being fully alive to their freshness and originality. It is fair to say that no other soloist of comparable international stature has done more to promote the cause of contemporary composers and new music for violin.
An exceptionally prolific recording artist, Gidon Kremer has made over 120 albums. Many of these have received prestigious international awards and prizes in recognition of his exceptional interpretative insights. In 2016 Gidon Kremer has also received a Praemium Imperiale prize that is widely considered to be the Nobel Prize of music.
In 1997 Maestro Kremer founded Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra to foster outstanding young musicians from the three Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The ensemble and its founder have toured extensively together over the past two decades, appearing at the world’s leading festivals and concert venues. They have also recorded two dozen albums for the Teldec, Nonesuch, Burleske, Deutsche Grammophon and ECM labels. In February 2002 Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica received the Grammy Award in the “Best Small Ensemble Performance” category for After Mozart on Nonesuch; the album was awarded an ECHO Klassik later that year. Their 2014 release on ECM of works by Mieczysław Weinberg was nominated for a Grammy in 2015.
Gidon Kremer plays an instrument made by Nicola Amati in 1641. He is the author of four books, of which the latest is Letters to a Young Pianist (2013). These writings have been translated into many languages and reflect the breadth of his artistic pursuits and aesthetic outlook.