Gidon Kremer

I would say that my role is to deliver something of beauty. Not ordinary stuff. Not something that is merely perfect.

Among the world’s leading violinists, Gidon Kremer has perhaps pursued the most unconventional career. He was born on February 27, 1947 in Riga, Latvia, and began studying at the age of four with his father and grandfather, both distinguished string players. At the age of seven, he enrolled as a student at Riga Music School where he made rapid progress, and at sixteen he was awarded the First Prize of the Latvian Republic. Two years later he began his studies with David Oistrakh at the Moscow Conservatory. Gidon Kremer went on to win a series of prestigious awards, including prizes in the 1967 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, the 1969 Montreal International Music Competition, and first prize in both the 1969 Paganini and 1970 Tchaikovsky International Competitions.

It was from this secure platform of study and success that Gidon Kremer launched his distinguished 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 as well as with the most celebrated orchestras of Europe and North America, and has worked with many of the greatest conductors of the past half century.

With some musicians, the name is enough, and for six decades violinist Gidon Kremer has been synonymous not just with supreme virtuosity, but an artistic spirit that goes far beyond mere performance. At the invitation of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, he comes to Birmingham this season with his legendary chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica to explore the heart-rending, uncompromisingly sincere music of the neglected Polish-Russian composer Mieczysław Weinberg. Shostakovich thought he was a genius, but for Kremer, he’s more than that – he’s human.