Leila Josefowicz’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music for the violin is reflected in her diverse programmes 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.
Highlights of Josefowicz’s 2019-20 season include opening the London Symphony Orchestra’s season with Sir Simon Rattle and returning to San Francisco Symphony with the incoming Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen to perform his Violin Concerto. Further engagements include concerts with Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, where she will be working with conductors at the highest level, including Susanna Mälkki, Matthias Pintscher and John Adams.
A favourite of living composers, Josefowicz has premiered many concertos, including those by Colin Matthews, Steven Mackey and Esa-Pekka Salonen, all written specially for her. This season, she will perform the UK premiere of Helen Grime’s Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Dalia Stasevska. Other recent premieres include John Adams’ Scheherazade.2 (Dramatic Symphony for Violin and Orchestra) in 2015 with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, and Luca Francesconi’s Duende – The Dark Notes in 2014 with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Susanna Mälkki. Josefowicz enjoyed a close working relationship with the late Oliver Knussen, performing various concerti, including his violin concerto, together over 30 times.
Alongside pianist 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, Washington DC’s Kennedy Center and London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as in Reykjavik, Chicago, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. This season, they appear together at Washington DC’s Library of Congress, New York’s Park Avenue Armory and Amherst College. She will also join Thomas Adès in recital to perform the world premiere of his new violin and piano work at Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris and the Japanese premiere at the Tokyo Opera City Cultural Foundation.
Recent highlights include engagements with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Boston and Finnish Radio symphony orchestras. In summer 2017, Josefowicz appeared at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and London’s Royal Albert Hall at the BBC Proms with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
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 the St Louis Symphony conducted by David Robertson, and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer.