Leila Josefowicz’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music for the violin is reflected in her diverse programs and enthusiasm for performing new works. A favorite of living composers, Josefowicz has premiered many concertos, including those by Colin Matthews, Luca Francesconi, John Adams and Esa-Pekka Salonen, all written specially for her.
Following summer performances at Sun Valley Music Festival and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Josefowicz returned to Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra with Susanna Mälkki and the Austrian premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s Assonanza with Vienna Symphony Orchestra at the Wien Modern Festival. The 2022/23 season saw the introduction of Helen Grime’s Violin Concerto into Josefowicz’s repertoire which she premiered with St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, and, as part of a special triple bill of three contemporary concerti by Hartmann, Adès and Grime, with Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Dalia Stasevska. Other orchestral dates include Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, and Vancouver, Detroit and Atlanta symphonies, and Konzerthausorchester Berlin, NDR Elbphilharmonie and Valencia Symphony Orchestra.
Highlights of recent seasons include working with Berliner Philharmoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Royal Concertgebouworkest, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Oslo Philharmonic, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, The Cleveland, and The Philadelphia Orchestras, where she worked with conductors at the highest level, including Matthias Pintscher, John Storgårds, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Louis Langrée, Hannu Lintu and John Adams. Josefowicz enjoyed a close working relationship with the late Oliver Knussen, performing various concerti, including his violin concerto, together over 30 times. Other premieres have included John Adams’ Scheherazade.2 with New York Philharmonic, Luca Francesconi’s Duende – The Dark Notes with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Steven Mackey’s Beautiful Passing with BBC Philharmonic.
Alongside 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 and Park Avenue Armory, Washington DC’s Kennedy Center and Library of Congress and London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as in Reykjavik, Chicago, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara. This season their collaboration continues with recitals in Italy, Spain, Canada, and the US.
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 Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. She has previously received nominations for Grammy Awards for her recordings of Scheherazade.2 with St Louis Symphony conducted by David Robertson, and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer.
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.