UCSB Arts & Lectures presents a sublime musical pairing: Leonidas Kavakos, violin, Yuja Wang, piano Friday, November 12th at 7:00 p.m. Pacific at Campbell Hall


  • UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Leonidas Kavakos, violin and Yuja Wang, piano 
  • The “formidable violinist” (The New York Times), collaborates with the star pianist, “a prodigious talent, with an astonishing technique” (The Guardian)
  • Kavakos works with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors and plays in the world’s premier recital halls and festivals. He is an exclusive recording artist with Sony Classical.
  • Beijing-born pianist Yuja Wang is celebrated for her charismatic artistry and captivating stage presence. Wang was named Musical America’s Artist of the Year in 2017.
  • The performance kicks off the Classical Greats series, featured in the 2021-2022 CREATING HOPE programming initiative
  • Friday, November 12 / 7:00 p.m. Pacific / Campbell Hall
  • $45 – $65 : General Public / $5 : UCSB Students (Current student ID required)
  • Health & Safety: Proof of full vaccination must be presented for entry to the event, and masks must be worn at all times inside the venue. Visit for updates and further details.
  • Tickets/Info: (805) 893-3535,
  • This event includes an at-home viewing option (live stream only; no replay)

▶ ▶ ▶ Editors/Reviewers: Please include the full name of UCSB Arts & Lectures in all media coverage, including reviews.


“Kavakos’ virtuosity is stunning but not showy. He tosses off the most hair-raising pyrotechnics and sound effects…with ease and relish.” – Strings

“[Wang] can create the startling juxtaposition of a flashy young star…while evoking the legendary piano gods of old playing warhorse concertos.” Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

UCSB Arts & Lectures is pleased to present Leonidas Kavakos, violin, Yuja Wang, piano on Friday, November 12th at 7:00 p.m. Pacific at Campbell Hall. The performance is part of the Classical Greats series, featured in the 2021-2022 CREATING HOPE programming initiative.

Recognized as a violinist and artist of rare quality, Leonidas Kavakos is known for his virtuosity, superb musicianship and the integrity of his playing. This fall, he joins forces with Yuja Wang, the Beijing-born pianist lauded for her charismatic artistry, captivating stage presence and “wizardly technique” (Chicago Tribune).


J.S. Bach: Sonata No. 3 in E major, BWV 1016

Shostakovich: Sonata in G major, op. 134

J.S. Bach: Sonata No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1014

Busoni: Sonata No. 2 in E minor, op. 36a


Leonidas Kavakos works with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors and plays as recitalist in the world’s premier recital halls and festivals. 

The three important mentors in his life have been Stelios Kafantaris, Josef Gingold, and Ferenc Rados, with whom he still works. By the age of 21, Leonidas Kavakos had already won three major competitions: the Sibelius Competition in 1985, and the Paganini and Naumburg competitions in 1988. This success led to him recording the original Sibelius Violin Concerto (1903/4), the first recording of this work in history, and which won Gramophone Concerto of the Year Award in 1991.

Kavakos is now an exclusive recording artist with Sony Classics. His latest recording, released worldwide in October 2019 in anticipation of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 2020, is the Beethoven Concerto which he conducted and played with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, coupled with the Beethoven Septet played with members of the orchestra. 

In 2007, for his recording of the complete Beethoven Sonatas with Enrico Pace, Kavakos was named Echo Klassik Instrumentalist of the year. In 2014, Kavakos was awarded Gramophone Artist of the Year.

Further accolades came in 2017 when Kavakos was awarded the prestigious Leonie Sonning Prize – Denmark’s highest musical honour, given annually to an internationally recognised composer, conductor, instrumentalist or singer. Previous winners include Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Alfred Brendel, Benjamin Britten, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Simon Rattle, Mstislav Rostropovich, Arthur Rubenstein and Dmitri Shostakovich.

In recent years, Kavakos has succeeded in building a strong profile as a conductor and has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Gürzenich Orchester, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Filarmonica Teatro La Fenice, and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

Born and brought up in a musical family in Athens, Kavakos curates an annual violin and chamber-music masterclass in Athens, which attracts violinists and ensembles from all over the world and reflects his deep commitment to the handing on of musical knowledge and traditions. Part of this tradition is the art of violin and bow-making, which Kavakos regards as a great mystery and to this day, an undisclosed secret. He plays the ‘Willemotte’ Stradivarius violin of 1734 and owns modern violins made by F. Leonhard, S.P. Greiner, E. Haahti and D. Bagué.




Yuja Wang was born into a musical family in Beijing. After childhood piano studies in China, she received advanced training in Canada and at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music under Gary Graffman. Her international breakthrough came in 2007 when she replaced Martha Argerich as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, she signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon and has since established her place among the world’s leading artists, with a succession of critically acclaimed performances and recordings.

In autumn of 2018, Yuja toured with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Kirill Petrenko, following with a recital tour to South America, and several concerts with the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev throughout Asia. It also marked the release of her solo recital album The Berlin Recital by Deutsche Grammophon, featuring works by Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, and Prokofiev, recorded live at the Philharmonie Berlin.

Spring of 2019 saw Yuja embark on a tour with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra to give the first-ever performances of John Adams’ newest piano concerto, as well as reuniting with cellist Gautier Capuçon for a vast US chamber tour. In autumn of 2019, she toured China with the Wiener Philharmoniker, presenting concerts in Macao, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Wuhan. 

Critical superlatives and audience ovations have continuously followed Yuja Wang’s dazzling career. The Beijing-born pianist, celebrated for her charismatic artistry and captivating stage presence, is set to achieve new heights during the 2021-22 season, which features recitals, concert series, as well as extensive tours with some of the world’s most venerated ensembles and conductors. 

See A&L’s full 2021-2022 lineup here

This is a moment that calls for Optimism, Resilience, Courage and Vision.

Santa Barbara needs Hope, and Arts & Lectures is uniquely positioned to respond.

A&L’s 2021-2022 CREATING HOPE programming initiative has already inspired our community with presentations by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, chef José Andrés and author Anne Lamott. We will continue to inspire, through shared experiences with thought leaders, creative problem solvers and arts visionaries who will guide us forward. CREATING HOPE programs strengthen human connection, promote emotional well-being, joy and compassion, and envision positive change. Learn more about the CREATING HOPE:


Founded in 1959, UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) is the largest and most influential arts and lectures organization between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A&L annually presents more than a hundred public events, from critically acclaimed concerts and dance performances by world-renowned artists to talks by groundbreaking authors and film series at UCSB and Santa Barbara-area venues. With a mission to “educate, entertain and inspire,” A&L also oversees an outreach program that brings visiting artists and speakers into local classrooms and other venues for master classes, open rehearsals, discussions and more, serving K-12 students, college students and the general public.  


Leonidas Kavakos, violin, Yuja Wang, piano is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures. 

The performance is part of the UCSB A&L Classical Greats series.

$45 – $65 : General Public $15 : UCSB Students (Current student ID required).

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at (805) 893-3535 or visit

UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges our Community Partners the Natalie Orfalea Foundation & Lou Buglioli for their generous support of the 2021-2022 season.

Leave a Response

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top