A Latvian violinist
, one of the most prominent figures in promoting new music, especially from eastern Europe
: composers such as Alfred Schnittke
, Sofia Gubaidulina
, Edison Denisov
, Peteris Vasks
, Arvo Pärt
, and Valentin Silvestrov
. He gave the world première of Schnittke's Concerto Grosso
No. 5 with the Cleveland Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
He is also active in promoting the work of the tango composer Astor Piazzolla.
Born in 1947 in Riga, Kremer took violin lessons from the age of four with his father and grandfather. At 16 he won first prize in the Latvian national competition, and at 18 auditioned for David Oistrakh, who accepted him as a pupil at the Moscow Conservatoire. In 1967 he won the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels, followed by the Paganini Competition in Genoa and in 1970 the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
In chamber music, he often plays with Martha Argerich, Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky, and Thomas Zehetmair. In 1981 he founded a chamber music festival at Lockenhaus in Austria, where musicians gather informally for two weeks in summer. This is now known as the KremerATA Musica, which I presume is a pun on the more usual word camerata.
In 1997 he founded a string orchestra for young players in the Baltic states, and this is called the KremerATA Baltica.
His official website www.gidon-kremer.com was not much use in compiling this.