Josefowicz favors collaboration and pushing the boundaries

Posted on: April 9, 2009

In Thursday’s (4/9) Wall Street Journal, David Mermelstein writes, “The Canadian-American violinist Leila Josefowicz, age 31, is pretty and poised, but glamorous seems the wrong word to describe her. Her interests, musical and otherwise, reject the superficial for what lies beneath. Ms. Josefowicz began her career at age 12, but she largely abandoned showpieces and the virtuoso concertos associated with prodigies after graduating from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1997. Instead, she has championed works by living composers, including John Adams, Oliver Knussen and Thomas Adès, all of whom echo the critics in acclaiming her interpretations of their music. Tonight, Ms. Josefowicz is scheduled to give the premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto, with the composer conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall.” Josefowicz “places a premium on collaboration,” and encourages the composers she works with to be daring, noting that difficulty is not a criteria for her in choosing works to perform. “Last September, Ms. Josefowicz became the first classical violinist to receive a MacArthur Foundation ‘genius’ grant. She has yet to decide what to do with its $500,000 purse, but her coming respite will at least give her a chance to start mulling possibilities.”

Posted April 9, 2009