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Gidon Kremer

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Title: Gidon Kremer  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Violin Concerto No. 1 (Glass), Kaija Saariaho, ECM Records, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Accademia Musicale Chigiana
Collection: 1947 Births, Deutsche Grammophon Artists, Grammy Award Winners, Honorary Members of the Royal Academy of Music, Jewish Classical Musicians, Jewish Classical Violinists, Latvian Academy of Music Alumni, Latvian Classical Violinists, Latvian Conductors (Music), Latvian Jews, Living People, Moscow Conservatory Alumni, Nonesuch Records Artists, Paganini Competition Prize-Winners, People from Riga, Prize-Winners of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Prize-Winners of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition, Recipients of the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, Recipients of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, 4Th Class, Recipients of the Order of the Three Stars, Rolf Schock Prize Laureates, Soviet Classical Violinists, Soviet Expatriates in Germany
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gidon Kremer

Gidon Kremer
Born (1947-02-27) 27 February 1947
Riga, Latvia, Soviet Union
Genres Classical
Notable instruments
Nicolo Amati 1641
Guarneri del Gesù 1730
Baron Feilitsch Stradivarius 1734

Gidon Kremer (Latvian: Gidons Krēmers; born 27 February 1947) is a Latvian classical violinist and conductor.


  • Life and career 1
  • Honours and awards 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4
  • Sources 5

Life and career

Gideon Kremer was born in Riga. His father was Jewish and had survived the Holocaust. His mother had Latvian-Swedish origins.[1] He began playing the violin at the age of four, receiving instruction from his father and his grandfather who were both professional violinists. He went on to study at the Riga School of Music, where his teacher was mainly Voldemar Sturestep. From 1965 Gidon Kremer studied with David Oistrakh at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1967, he won third prize at the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels; then, in 1969, second prize at the Montreal International Violin Competition (shared with Oleh Krysa) followed by first prize at the Paganini Competition in Genoa; and finally first prize again in 1970 at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

Kremer's first concert in the West was in Vienna's Musikverein in the year 1970, where he played with Thomas Schippers and the Wiener Symphoniker. He debuted in Germany at the festival Bachwoche Ansbach and in the Berlin Philharmonie in 1975 and in London under André Previn in 1976, followed by appearances at the Salzburg Festival in 1976 and in New York City and in Japan in 1977. In 1980, he left the USSR and settled in Germany. In 1981, Kremer founded a chamber music festival in Lockenhaus, Austria, with a focus on new and unconventional programming, serving as artistic director for 30 years until 2011.[2] In 1997, Kremer founded the Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra, composed of young players from the Baltic region.[1] He was also among the artistic directors of the festival "Art Projekt 92" in Munich and is director of the Musiksommer Gstaad festival (1996/97) and Basel ("les musiques") in Switzerland. In 2007-2008, he and Kremerata Baltica toured with the classical musical comedy duo Igudesman & Joo. He also made regular appearances at the Verbier Festival until the summer of 2011, when he publicly criticised the perceived 'star culture' aspect of the festival and withdrew from the festival.[3]

Kremer is known for his wide-ranging repertoire, extending from Alban Berg, Dmitri Shostakovich, Béla Bartók, Philip Glass, Alfred Schnittke, Leonid Desyatnikov, Alexander Raskatov, Alexander Voustin, Lera Auerbach, Pēteris Vasks, Arvo Pärt, Victoria Poleva, Valentyn Sylvestrov, Victor Kissine, Mieczysław Weinberg, Arthur-Vincent Lourié, Steven Kovacs Tickmayer and John Adams. Among the many composers who have dedicated works to him are Sofia Gubaidulina (Offertorium) and Luigi Nono (La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura), Alfred Schnittke, Giya Kancheli, Victor Kissine. His partners in performance include Valery Afanassiev, Martha Argerich,[5] Mikhail Pletnev, Oleg Maisenberg, Vadim Sakharov, Mischa Maisky, Yo-Yo Ma, Clemens Hagen, Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė, Yuri Bashmet, Kim Kashkashian, Thomas Zehetmayr, Tatiana Grindenko. He has a large discography on the Deutsche Grammophon label, for which he has recorded since 1978. He has also recorded for Philips Records, EMI, Decca Records, ECM[6] and Nonesuch Records.

In other media, Kremer played the role of Paganini in Peter Schamoni's 1983 movie Frühlingssinfonie ("Spring Symphony") and was the music director of the movie Le joueur du violon by Charles Van Damme.

Kremer is the author of four books on music, the latest one being Letters to a Young Pianist, 2013.

Kremer's first wife was the Russian pianist Elena Bashkirova.

Honours and awards


  1. ^ a b Charlotte Higgins (22 November 2000). "Perfect isn't good enough". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  2. ^ "Lockenhaus: Gidon Kremer zieht sich zurück". Der Standard. 2011-05-06. Retrieved 2014-12-25. 
  3. ^ Jeremy Eichler (2011-10-12). "Having denounced star system, Gidon Kremer comes to Longy". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2014-12-25. 
  4. ^ Andrew Clements (2012-12-06). "Hommage à Piazzolla – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-25. 
  5. ^ Andrew Clements (2009-04-24). "Schumann: Violin Sonata No 2; Kinderszenen; Bartók: Solo Violin Sonata; Violina Sonata No 1; etc: Kremer/Argerich". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-25. 
  6. ^ Andrew Clements (2014-02-20). "Weinberg: Sonata No 3; Trio; Sonatina; Concertino; Symphony No 10 – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-25. 
  7. ^ 57th Annual Grammy Awards
  8. ^ 44th Annual Grammy Awards
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Prize laureates 1975 - 2004".  
  11. ^ "Ar Triju Zvaigžņu ordeni apbalvoto personu reģistrs" (doc) (in Latvian). Chancery of the Latvian president. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 

External links

  • Gidon Kremer at AllMusic
  • Gidon Kremer website
  • Kremerata Baltica official website
  • Interview with Gidon Kremer by Bruce Duffie, May 19, 1997
  • Gidon Kremer letter to Verbier Festival "Why I quit the celebrity ratrace"


  • Apinis, Pēteris (2006). A Hundred Great Latvians. Riga: Nacionālais apgāds.  
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