“…she is the inevitable go-to violinist when the orchestra is in need of a daring, probing, thinking, dancing, spectacularly virtuosic soloist.”
—Los Angeles Times
Leila Josefowicz’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music for the violin is reflected in her diverse programming and enthusiasm for performing new works. 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.
Ms. Josefowicz is a favorite of living composers and has premiered many concertos written especially for her, including those by Colin Matthews, Steven Mackey, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. This season, she will give the world premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s Assonanza II for Violin and Chamber Orchestra with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and then in Europe with Musikkollegium Wintertur, both under the baton of the composer. Other recent premieres include John Adams’s Scheherazade.2 (Dramatic Symphony for Violin and Orchestra) in 2015 with the New York Philharmonic, and Luca Francesconi’s Duende—The Dark Notes in 2014 with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Josefowicz enjoyed a close working relationship with the late Oliver Knussen, and they performed various concerti, including his violin concerto, together over 30 times.
Following 2021 summer performances at the US at Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Grand Teton Music Festival, Ms. Josefowicz returned to Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, working with their incoming Music Director Nicholas Collon. Return appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and NAC Orchestra Ottawa, and in Europe with the Oslo Philharmonic, Dresdner Philharmonie, Concertgebouworkest, and Budapest Festival Orchestra round out the 2021-22 season.
Highlights of recent seasons include Ms. Josefowicz’s appearances with Berliner Philharmoniker, Washington National Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Philadelphia orchestras, where she worked with conductors at the highest level, including Susanna Mälkki, Matthias Pintscher, and John Adams.
Ms. Josefowicz has participated in several important projects during the pandemic. These include the MetLiveArts Spring 2021 series, where she performed in Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D Minor and premiered La Linea Evocativa, written for her by Matthias Pintscher. She also participated in the Violin Channel’s Virtual Concert series, performing works of Mahler and Sibelius as well as Reflection by Oliver Knussen and the Sonata of Bernd Alois Zimmermann with John Novacek.
Alongside Mr. Novacek, with whom she has enjoyed a close collaboration since 1985, Ms. Josefowicz has performed recitals at world-renowned venues such as New York’s Zankel Hall and Park Avenue Armory, Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, and London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as in Reykjavik, Chicago, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara.
Ms. 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 Grammy Award nominations for her recordings of Scheherazade.2 with the St. Louis Symphony and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.