Music’s truth speaker is 70 today

Music’s truth speaker is 70 today


norman lebrecht

February 27, 2017

Unlike most maestros and music journalists, Gidon Kremer has never been afraid of speaking truth to power.

Leader of his own ensemble, the Kremerata Baltica, the Latvian violinist has maintained an outspoken opposition to the classical star system, the Putin regime and its musical puppets, and every other corruption in the music world.

Happy birthday, Gidon, and many more.



  • NSO musician says:

    Mr. Kremer’s appearance with the NSO last month performing Vainberg’s violin concerto was a disappointment. He seemed to have his nose in the score at all times, and most disconcerting was his lack of power, lack of strength. He may not physically be well.

    • Anthony says:

      Sorry, but I was in this concert and he was amazing!
      Strange that such an idiot starting to comment nonsenses and even more embarrassing , when they start referring to the health issues.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      NSO Musician, I heard Kremer perform the same violin concerto in Boston, and I think there’s some merit to what you’re saying. Kremer had a most un-Kremer-like performance in the first movement. He rallied after that, but he had a rough start with some intonation problems and a lack of focus, and he didn’t seem himself. I’ve seen him live too many times to mention and prior to this, he’s never been anything less than incredible. In this performance, he was very human before he returned more or less to form. I’m not sure what to think, other than the fact that he seemed “off” compared to his normal performances. I hope there’s nothing seriously wrong with him, because he is one of our living greats and in a rarified class. I’ll go hear him play anything.

  • DC says:

    “The concerto is a big, involved, four-movement piece that sends the violin scurrying across the strings from the first bars and barely lets it go. Weinberg’s writing here is like a somewhat romanticized Shostakovich, with sections of angular energy juxtaposed with big opulent melodies, like the tutti section at the start of the third movement, thick and bittersweet as molasses. Kremer’s playing, though, had a querulous thinness to it that gave a sense of randomness to some of the violin’s meanderings in tight circles up and down the strings and a sense of sameness to four movements that are not really all that similar. There was no questioning his commitment to the music, but his performance seemed insular, the private thoughts of someone who was not fully invested in bringing them across to the public. It would be nice to hear the orchestra do it again with a more extroverted, full-toned soloist.”
    Washington Post