Leila Josefowicz’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music for the violin is reflected in her diverse programmes and enthusiasm to perform new works. In 2008, she was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, joining prominent scientists, writers and musicians who have made unique contributions to contemporary life.
Highlights of Josefowicz’s 2018/19 season include concerts with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Houston and St. Louis symphonys, and the Toronto and Baltimore symphony orchestras, working with conductors at the highest level including Jaap van Zweden, Christoph Eschenbach and Matthias Pintscher.
Alongside pianist John Novacek, with whom Josefowicz has enjoyed a close collaboration since 1985, she has performed recitals at world-renowned venues such as New York’s Zankel Hall and Washington’s Kennedy Center, as well as Reykjavik, Leeds, Chicago, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Halifax (Nova Scotia). This season, she appears at Madrid’s Centro Nacional de Difusión Musical, Ithaca and Eastman schools of music, the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, and returns to London’s Wigmore Hall.
A favourite of many living composers, Josefowicz enjoyed a close working relationship with the late Oliver Knussen performing together over 30 times, most of these with his violin concerto. Josefowicz has premiered many new concertos with composers including John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Colin Matthews and Steven Mackey, all writing especially for her. Josefowicz gave the world premiere of Adams’ Scheherazade.2 (Dramatic Symphony for Violin and Orchestra) in 2015 with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert. Luca Francesconi’s concerto Duende – The Dark Notes, was given its world premiere by Josefowicz (also written for her) in 2014 with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Susanna Mälkki, and subsequently performed again with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Mälkki at the BBC Proms in 2015.
Recent highlights include engagements with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, 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 with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
Josefowicz has released several recordings, notably for Deutsche Grammophon, Philips/Universal and Warner Classics and was featured on Touch Press’ acclaimed iPad app, The Orchestra. Her latest recording, featuring Scheherazade.2 with the St Louis Symphony conducted by David Robertson, was released in 2016 and nominated for a Grammy Award. Josefowicz’s recording of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer, was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 2014.