Nigel Kennedy37Nigel Kennedy was born on 28 December 1956 in the English city of Brighton. Both his parents were musicians.

Nigel Kennedy01John, cellist of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (the Royal Philharmonic orchestra — a Symphony orchestra in London), he left his wife before the birth of her son and immigrated to Australia. Sylla earned a living teaching piano. The money for the sitter was not, and little Nigel had to take. He literally grew up "under the piano". Inevitably the moment came when he from under the piano, crawled out and started to try fingers the keys. Mother did not doubt the musical abilities of the son, and as soon as he began to show interest, began to teach him. In the six years he was enrolled in the music class of the school of Arundel, but at the same time went to audition for the Yehudi Menuhin school (special music school in Surrey, England. Founded in 1963 by the famous violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin). Great artist saw in the boy a great potential and adopted it. Mother, he said that Nigel received a scholarship. Only after the death of Menuhin was discovered that the Master had personally paid the young Kennedy training from their own funds.

Nigel Kennedy02Soon thereafter, the Silla remarried and changed his place of residence. Away from their family and especially not his beloved violin as the main instrument, Nigel was not too diligent student, but with passion, gave himself to the study of music in its entirety. "I much more enjoyed playing the piano, which I immediately could achieve a relatively decent harmonies. When you learn to play the violin, you hear a horrible screech. And you can publish only one melodic line, without harmony. Piano — is another matter: you can quickly learn to play meaningful melodies." The only consolation Nigel found in candy, which it treated the teacher as soon as he was able to advance a bit in training.

Other music became more and more attractive for young Kennedy. The identity of the great teacher in itself was the impetus, after all, none other than Yehudi Menuhin introduced the Western world to the East, populyarizirovan Ravi Shankar long before the Beatles, and "brought" classics with jazz, recording in different years, four albums with Stephane Grappelli. Nigel listened to jazz, from Coltrane and Coleman to monk and miles, and jazz rock: Mahavishnu Orchestra, Santana, Billy Cobham. One day Grappelli himself came to the school of his friend, and Nigel found another teacher and protector. The old jazz was not a burden to carry Tomboy in the clubs, playing jazz violin in two. Nigel slept in the classroom. Menuhin had from time to time to deal with the Affairs of his protege... later, Kennedy was late in time to make rent, being drunk, and the property owner sent an account to sir Yehudi. Menuhin responded with a postcard: "Dear Nigel! I have nothing against drinking. But, please, NEVER smoke!"
Nigel Kennedy03At the age of 16 Nigel graduated from high school and went to continue studying in the prestigious school Julliard an in new York at the famous Dorothy Delay. Of course, he continued to play jazz clubs, gaining experience and chutzpah he was already not hold. "At school, Yehudi, we were taught that in the world nothing is impossible. I naively stated in black clubs. First, I was white; second, an Englishman; third, a teenager; and fourth, played the violin — what a tool for Harlem public! But if you have learned to cope with SUCH situations, there is no reason not to believe in yourself." New York was kind to Nigel: Juilliard, he graduated with maximum score for the first time in the history of the school; and he even had the chance to perform with Grappelli on the stage of Carnegie hall.
three years later, after high school, Kennedy returned to London. Immediately he was able to "make it" as a soloist. In 1977 Nigel made his debut on the stage of the Royal Festival Hall in violin Concerto Mendelssohn, performed with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1980 and the London Philharmonic orchestra under the leadership of Riccardo Muti. A good magician again made Menuhin, inviting Nigel to perform the violin Concerto by Elgar in the albert hall. At the console stood the Maestro, who once glorified the concert, playing with orchestra under the baton of Elgar. After the first speech Nigel continued to play the concert is under the baton of Vernon Handley and Charles Groves. His interpretation made an impression, and pretty soon had signed a recording contract with EMI Classics. Violin Concerto Elgar in 1984 became the first in the catalogue of recordings Kennedy and brought him his first award — the 1985 Gramophone Record of the Year with five departing from the following nominees Best classical album of the year in Britain — and the first place in the English classic the top. He also became the first record Kennedy for the number of copies sold three hundred thousand CDs a little-known young artist something to say about the quality of music.
Nigel Kennedy04Nigel, accustomed to the free atmosphere of a jazz feel all the more constrained framework of conservative world of classical music. But the time for open rebellion had not yet arrived. Yet his reputation was strengthened, one by one came discs: Tchaikovsky's violin Concerto in 1986; Walton concertos for violin and viola in 1987; the violin Concerto and the 5th Symphony of Sibelius in 1988 and in the same year — the violin concertos of Mendelssohn and Bruch. The latter brought him another gold disc. And already on the cover of this album, one of the most amazing musically, we see Nigel in the now familiar form in the clothes from the flea market and the "feathers" on the head. At the same time, he refuses to respond to the name "Nigel", calling himself a "Kennedy". Quite a young boy (although he is 32), not very confident looking cover, does not know for sure how cool it will turn the classical world in a year, but already quite ready for it.
a year later, was "the seasons" by Vivaldi, accompanied by the English chamber orchestra, the incredible explosion of popularity, six months on top of the classical top of the UK, an entry in the Guinness book of records as the best-selling classic work, an unheard of two million copies sold. (Since then the figure has grown — best-selling album of classical music.) To say this concert does not make sense, it needs to hear, and even better to see a great video carefully passes each collective sigh of a brilliant orchestra needs no conductor, every movement of the soul is an incredible soloist, completely immersed in the music, which plays without music, memory, eyes closed... Nigel Kennedy revolutionized and surprised the academic circles of rock-n-roll attitude to classical works and the classical approach to rock songs.
Nigel Kennedy05Critics have praised the interpretation of Kennedy; in 2000 he received the award Classical Brit Awards (annual ceremony of delivery of musical awards of great Britain in the field of classical music); performed twice for members of the Royal family; a video of the concert has also gained its rewards; and finally the halls for his speeches were full. Material success has allowed Nigel to redeem the property of the violin, which he played, Cathedrale of work Antonio Stradivari — as soon as he became its owner, he immediately exchanged it for Lamont, born in 1736 violin by Giuseppe Guarneri del gesù, which literally fell in love a year earlier. This violin Nigel was renamed Kylie – in honor of the Australian singer Kylie Minogue. For Vivaldi was followed by two CDs: Brahms ' violin Concerto with the London Philharmonic under the baton of Klaus Tennstedt in 1991 and with it the same — Beethoven in 1992. They both instantly became Golden. But Kennedy felt that the performance of classical music he'd reached his limit. And he announced his retirement from concert activities. The formal reason was the need for a second surgery on his neck — the pain has long plagued him and caused the cancellation of several concerts, but in fact, Nigel wanted to get the opportunity in the silence to ponder his future path, to burn a disc of his own compositions, to play with rock musicians. Five years he hid from the limelight, playing in small clubs, Oxford and Cambridge, wrote, lived simply. At first he planned to publish an album of variations on the music of Jimi Hendrix (this was not the first "departure" from a pure classic album of jazz standards "Kennedy Plays Jazz" was released in 1984, in 1986 he recorded a CD with the music of Bartok and Ellington's "Mainly Black" processing Suite "Black, Brown &Beige", and in concert, on "bis" Kennedy has long been performed jazz compositions). However, the problems with the heirs of Hendrix is not allowed to carry out the project at the time. Kennedy was not discouraged: "Okay, put Hendrix on then — this album I can record at least eighty years old, because Jimmy is a classical composer like Bach or the other". Instead, he gathered his friends, many of whom already had time to check on the disks, and recorded the album "Kafka". It took four months, it involved Danny Thompson, Manu Katche, Donovan, Jane Siberry, Nana Vasconcelos, John Etheridge. Kennedy himself played not only acoustic and electric violin and viola, but also piano, mandolin and even saxophone. In the composition "Melody In The Wind," Nigel conceded the leading role to his teacher in music and in life, Stefan Grappelli; their touching duet — decoration disk. The most sophisticated listener will find it difficult to pinpoint the genre of this album. Not jazz-rock but not jazz, mostly electric, but sometimes simply essential, with an unusual vocal parts on poluzhnikov language, with a native Kennedy Celtic spirit, with a magnificent violin, sometimes indistinguishable imitating an electric guitar with an amazing melodies, great musicians and impeccably thought-out concept is definitely one of the best electric albums of all time.Nigel Kennedy Kafka
Nigel Kennedy HendrixIn April 1997, Kennedy returned to the classic scene. Despite the height of the campaign, the front pages of English Newspapers was occupied by the headers of "Kennedy is back!". Triumphal tour around the world, the delight of the audience and the admiration of critics, recording several albums — new version of the Elgar Concerto under the baton of sir Simon rattle, together with the air "The Lark Ascending" by Vaughan Williams, in 1997; the album is a dedication to the great violinist and composer Fritz Chrysler in 1998; an excellent collection of classic miniatures "Classic Kennedy" in 1999 (immediately soaring into first place in the chart). Finally, in 1999, the time has come "Hendrix Concerto" — first in concert, first with the chamber orchestra in Germany, then in the group of eight musicians including Soft Machine guitarist John etherege's speech, two cellos, bass, flute and oboe. Kennedy wrote the musical scores for all instruments except strings and guitar — their party was completely improvisational. The CD was released in the same year and was one of the most exciting experiments. The absolute opposite of the standard tributea album — not just a new arrangement, but a complete deconstruction and recomposite that opened such depths innovative music Hendrix my Jimi could not have full representation, quite different in form from the original and absolutely not related to him in spirit. Few the first time to recognize in the interpretation of Kennedy's "Fire" or "Purple Haze" — but those who are willing to listen to both head and heart, opens the harmony and the ambiguity of the over-avant-garde music. The album is dedicated to recently deceased Grappelli.Nigel Kennedy06
It is Symbolic that Hendricks has become a source of inspiration for Kennedy: how Jimi was revolutionary in rock music, as Nigel became a revolutionary in the classics. Hundreds of cool, awesome and dozens of great guitarists suddenly began to sound gray and dull after "Hey Joe". They have not ceased to play, just now it was the music of the last century. Hundreds of cool, awesome and dozens of great violinists also not stopped playing after takeoff from Kennedy but against his intelligent, passionate, fiery, free, very masculine and incredibly accurate game play they are almost student, stereotyped, awkward... In technology Kennedy clearly audible tone of both his great teachers — but a free child of the free century, it surpassed even them.

Nigel Kennedy07After the stunning "Hendrix Concerto" and a delightful "Classic Kennedy" Nigel recorded in 2000, slightly more traditional albums — duets with cellist Lynn Harrell; not particularly expressive orchestral tribute Doors, "The Doors Concerto", in which he participated only as a performer, playing the party of someone else's writings; and, for the first time on record with the famous Berliner Philharmoniker, the violin concertos of Bach. Next year he's a little "slowed down", trying to spend more time with his son. Sark Ives Amadeus Kennedy was born when Nigel and his girlfriend, Eve Westmore, was about to leave. But Nigel didn't want the son to grow up without him. The boy lived alternately at mother and father, with whom he spent at least 10 days per month. Thanks to the Sark Nigel found his current family happiness. Acquainted at a party with a student from Poland Agnieszka Soviets ("I thought — my God! What a beautiful woman"), he remembered about her, when the baby needed a nanny. Living in the same house, Nigel and Agnieszka gradually converged and in 2002 got married. Sark was the only witness at the modest wedding. Agnieszka was 25 years old, she studied law in London. Everyone noted her rare tact and striking beauty, and Nigel was praised for the frugality. "What I like about her is that she does not spend money for nothing. I'm not a cheapskate, but judge for yourself, as it looked a woman dressed in Versace or Gucci, with me?" Nigel still prefers clothes from the flea market. They live alternately in London, Malvern and Krakow. Here Nigel found his new inspiration and a new job — he became artistic Director of the Polish chamber orchestra. The position that was occupied by Yehudi Menuhin...
Nigel Kennedy08A Superstar and millionaire, Kennedy every day gives the exercises on his priceless violin at least three hours. He plays more than 40 public concerts a year, in order not to lose the freshness of perception. Demanding of himself, he is demanding and his partners on the concert platform. Has become public scandals about the lack of time for rehearsals, provide English orchestras. One time Kennedy even canceled for this reason, the assigned performance at the Gramophone Awards, playing instead of the planned concert for violin and orchestra Sonata by Bach for solo violin. Bitterly he spoke of that most English of bands are willing to settle for second-rate products... Kennedy even made an unprecedented offer of three years he will be in England without fees, if you have good rehearsal conditions and cost recovery. Skeptics immediately countered that queries Nigel hoo what reimbursement is already costing a pretty penny: there are certain brand of champagne in the room, and humidifiers in each room... Champagne, let's not outweigh the fees, and constant humidity is necessary not for Nigel and his beloved violin.
Nigel Kennedy09In 2002, EMI Classics released a collection of "Nigel Kennedy's Greatest Hits". "When the guys from EMI offered to publish a collection, I thought: not the best idea. I have already passed your peak? I said no, guys do not become angry and insist. But then I started thinking: what do you diva build? You can in fact consider this as a reason for pride. There many classical violinists have scored at least one "hit"? So I called the guys and said that I changed my mind". Dedicated to the twenty-fifth anniversary of the stage career of Kennedy, the album was released in single-disc and double-disc versions. On the cover of Nigel in the battle of the red-and-blue livery, clutching teeth to the violin. "Kick" in the direction of Vanessa Mae? No, it's just the colors of their favorite football team Kennedy, "Aston Villa", which he is devoted, so that even became part of the Board — the height of conformity to the rebellious and punk. In his wardrobe, often anything red-blue — brand actionvillage scarf, different colored socks — one red, the other blue, the more intimate subjects of a toilet. However, recently, the "Villa" is no matter, distressing its Vice President... in Addition to the shocking cover art and a collection of unique photographs, the "Greatest Hits" valuable another important detail: Kennedy regained the name! Now he again Nigel. Well, we always knew it... In Germany, all marking "Kennedy" is not in go: even the cashiers in the Philharmonic call him only by name. On this CD appears for the first time the new craze Kennedy — the Klezmer music of Eastern European Jews. Together with the Polish Klezmer trio Kroke, he takes one of the gems of violin music, "Czardas" by Vittorio Monti. Perfectly canonical and stunning "Classic Kennedy", "Greatest Hits" this room sparkles characteristically Jewish humor. Nigel was fascinated with the music of Kroke: "These guys sound like a whole orchestra!". He appears with them at concerts in London, Warsaw, Krakow under a deafening applause from the audience. In 2003 he released the album "East Meets East — Nigel Kennedy and the Kroke Band". Another gesture of appreciation to the Teacher — the name echoes Menchinskiy "West Meets East". The album includes arrangements of folk melodies and written in the same spirit songs (funny signed Bawol/Kennedy/Kukurba/Lato) and one thing Goran Bregovic. In General, this work is very different from the other disks Kennedy. If "Hendrix Concerto" — of course, the music of "head", "Kafka" music for the heart, classic albums — music for the soul, a new project — in a sense — music for the body. From the first sounds impossible to sit still. Even if you can resist the temptation to dance, you will be patting your foot, clap hands, shake your head to every tune, whether "dance" or "cry". By "distance" from the usual sound Kennedy this album is second only to Hendrix Concerto. But — why not??? Those who do not have loved classical melodies — Nigel recorded a new version of "Four Seasons" by Vivaldi with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

In September 2002 Kennedy was appointed artistic Director of the Polish Chamber Orchestra, who once was Lord Menuhin. With this orchestra he rediscovered a stunning, but forgotten late Romantic Polish Concerto, Violin Concerto No. 2 Emil Mlynarski and combined it with the Violin Concerto of Mieczyslaw karlowicz in a major new project that was launched under the name 'PolishSpirit' in 2007. 'PolishSpirit' has won numerous awards worldwide, including the prestigious премиюEchoKlassik in Germany (instrumentalist of the year) and Poland'sFryderykiAlbum наYearAward.

Nigel Kennedy26Release Kennedy 2009, called for a special fashion, "A Very Nice Album", marked as a bold excursion beyond the classical repertoire. It was recorded with a personal group of Nigel "Quintet Nigel Kennedy", consisting of the violinist and four dynamic musicians of the Polish jazz scene. Already his earlier album, blue note was aimed at interpretation of compositions of jazz masters of yesteryear. However, in the album "A VeryNiceAlbum" Kennedy came to the fore not only as a improviser but also as a composer.