Gidon Kremer was born in Riga (Latvia) in 1947, the only child of parents of German origin. After receiving his first musical instruction at home — both father and grandfather were professional violinists — he studied at the Riga School of Music and then at the Moscow Conservatory under David Oistrakh. Kremer enjoyed notable success at competitions in Brussels (1967), Montreal and Genoa (1969), and Moscow (1970). After extended tours through the former Soviet Union, he began appearing with increasing frequency in the West: his first concert in Germany came in 1975, followed by debuts at the Salzburg Festival (1976) and in New York (1977). Gidon Kremer was also one of the artistic directors of the music festival “Art Projekt ’92” in Munich.
The international chamber music festival in Lockenhaus (Austria), founded by Gidon Kremer in 1981, has been a forum for young artists to present challenging and innovative chamber music concerts — programmes which are also taken on tour. In 1992 the festival in Lockenhaus was named “KREMERata MUSICA”. In 1996 Gidon Kremer founded the KREMERata BALTICA chamber orchestra to foster outstanding young musicians from the three Baltic states. He undertakes regular concert tours with this orchestra. Gidon Kremer is also Director of the Musiksommer Gstaad (Switzerland).
Gidon Kremer’s repertoire ranges from the Baroque to works by Henze and Stockhausen. Composers of the former Soviet Union such as Schnittke, Pärt, Gubaidulina and Denisov have been introduced to Western audiences largely through Kremer’s efforts. Martha Argerich, Valery Afanassiev, Oleg Maisenberg and Vadim Sakharov are his favorite musical partners. Gidon Kremer plays a Guarneri del Gesù — ex David — dating from 1730.
Since 1978 Gidon Kremer has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, and he signed his first exclusive contract with the Yellow Label in 1987.