A Greek violinist and conductor, Leonidas Kavakos has established a reputation as a virtuoso performer in both concerto and chamber repertoires. Raised in a musical family, Kavakos began playing his instrument at age 5 and pursued lessons with Stelios Kafantaris at the Hellenic Conservatory, and later at Indiana University with Josef Gingold. A noteworthy achievement of his youth was winning the International Sibelius Competition in 1985, which he followed with prize-winning performances at the Indiana Violin Competition in 1986, the Naumberg Competition, and the Paganini Violin Competition, both in 1988. He tours Europe and the United States regularly, appearing in concerto performances with major orchestras. He is frequently a guest at several annual festivals and hosts his own chamber music festival in Athens. Kavakos also conducted the Camerata Salzburg from 2001 to 2009. He recorded with BIS, Delos, ECM, and Sony, before signing a contract with Decca.