Stringing along

By Christopher Wallace

The exquisite reverberations of world-renowned violinist Leila Josefowicz will fill the Libby Gardner Concert Hall on Tuesday when she performs the music of Brahms, Schubert, Shostakovich and Stravinsky accompanied by pianist John Novacek.

Josefowicz’s performance is part of the U School of Music’s Virtuoso Series, which features internationally acclaimed jazz and classical musicians.

Josefowicz began studying the violin using the Suzuki method when she was three-and-a-half years old — an age at which most children are riding tricycles and bouncing balls. Her father, physicist Jack Josefowicz, learned with her, until she informed him that he wasn’t any good, and she began formal lessons — sans dad — at age five.

Josefowicz first garnered national attention with her Carnegie Hall debut in 1994 when she performed the Tchaikovsky Concerto with Sir Neville Marriner. She has since performed with many of the world’s major orchestras as well as many distinguished conductors.

Since then, she has travelled through North America, performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Toronto and Vancouver symphonies, among others.

Josefowicz’s performances have not been limited to North America, though. She has spent an equal amount of time in Europe, performing with the Royal Concertgebouw and Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestras and the London and Munich philharmonics, as well as a third appearance at the London Proms.

Once a child prodigy, the now 23-year-old Josefowicz is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. She has blossomed from a whiz kid to an artistically mature adult and talented solo violinist.

In addition to her live performances, Josefowicz has appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “Evening at Pops” and “PBS Live from Lincoln Center.” Most recently, Eugenia Zukerman’s profile of Josefowicz was aired on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

Josefowicz has a discography of more than a dozen albums featuring the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky. She also took part in John Adams’ album Road Movies, which received a 2004 Grammy nomination.

Her most recent record–which comprises seven violin concertos and sonatas by 20th-century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich–received brilliant reviews and was named “Album of the Week” (four out of four stars) by Michael Church in May 2006 in Britain’s The Independent. That month, the album was also declared “Classical CD of the Week” (four out of four stars) by Hugh Canning in London’s The Sunday Times.

Tuesday’s recital begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students and children. Tickets can be purchased at Kingsbury Hall, by calling 581-7100 or at www.kingtix.org.

As part of her appearance, Josefowicz will present a master class on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon in the Dumke Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public.