James Ehnes and Eduard Laurel
SAINT PAUL SUNDAY APPEARANCES
JAMES EHNES has rapidly established a pre-eminent reputation among concert violinists. He has performed with such renowned conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit, Ivan Fischer, Michael Gielen, Hans Graf, Richard Hickox, Paavo Järvi, Andrew Litton, Zdenek Macal, Sir Charles Mackerras, David Robertson, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Christian Thielemann, Bramwell Tovey, and Bobby McFerrin, appearing with orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, the United States, and Canada. Recent engagements include appearances in Europe with the London Symphony Orchestra , the Philharmonia, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Ulster Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, the Orchestre de Lyon, the Czech Philharmonic, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and the Finnish Radio Orchestra, in Asia with the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo), the Malaysian Philharmonic, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and in North America with the major orchestras of New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minnesota, St. Paul, Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal.
Recitals have taken Mr. Ehnes to major cities around the world including London, Paris, Prague, Washington D.C., Tokyo, Osaka, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. He has also appeared at major international festivals including Chicago's Ravinia Festival, the Marlboro Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, the Tokyo Summer Music Festival, the Bermuda Festival, the Montreux Festival, the Festival de la Chaise-Dieu, the Festival Côte St. André, the Moritzburg Festival, and the Festival of the White Nights. As a chamber musician, he often performs in trio with cellist Jan Vogler and pianist Louis Lortie and has collaborated with such artists as Leif Ove Andsnes and Yo-Yo Ma.
After a busy summer highlighted by performances on tour with the New York Philharmonic and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, James Ehnes' 2005-06 season will include performances in North America with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the National Arts Center Orchestra, and the symphonies of Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Colorado, Grand Rapids, Toronto, Calgary, Thunder Bay, and Newfoundland. In Europe, he appears with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Bournemouth Symphony, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Liege. He will also perform the Japanese premier of Oliver Knussen's violin concerto with the NHK symphony orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Recital appearaces include Montreal, Quebec City, Kitchener, and Deauville, France.
Beginning with a return engagement at the Ravinia Festival, James Ehnes's 2004-2005 season was one marked by debuts with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Residentie Orkest of the Hague, the Pacific Symphony, and the National Ballet of Canada in special performances of Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 accompanying Jerome Robbins' ballet Opus 19, The Dreamer. Internationally, he spent a significant amount of time in the U.K., performing with the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia, and the London Symphony Orchestra. He also returned to l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, and the Edmonton Symphony.
James Ehnes's busy 2003-2004 season included debut appearances in San Francisco, Dallas, Fort Worth, Miami, Catania, and Kuala Lumpur, tours with the Liege Philharmonic and Violons du Roy, and returns to the Alabama, Nashville, and Montreal Symphonies, as well as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra. Following on the heals of his highly lauded debut with the New York Philharmonic, James Ehnes returned in May for a performance of Harrison's Suite for Violin and American Gamelan. As a recitalist, James Ehnes performed in Spain, Switzerland, Italy and the United States, in addition to an all-Beethoven recital with Louie Lortie in Toronto, an all-Bach recital in Montreal and trio appearances with Louis Lortie and Jan Vogler in New York and Moritzburg, Germany.
2004 saw the release of five new CD's: a collection of works by Janácek, Smetana and Dvorák entitled Romantic Pieces with Eduard Laurel (piano) on the Analekta label, a disc of Wieniawski and Sarasate (CBC) also with Eduard Laurel, and three Chandos recordings: Dohnanyi's 2nd Violin Concerto, Luigi Dallapiccola's Tartiniana (both with the BBC Philharmonic), and three works by Hummel with the London Mozart Players. He has most recently released a disk of works by John Adams with Andrew Russo (piano) for the Black Box label and May 2005 will see the release of a fourth Chandos recording, Dvorák's Violin Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda.
A prolific recording artist, James Ehnes also recently released a disc of Schumann and Fauré Quintets with Louis Lortie, Jan Vogler, Mira Wang, and Naoko Shimizu for Sony Germany. His recording of Bruch's Concerto for violin No. 2 and Scottish Fantasy with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Mario Bernardi (CBC Records) received the 2003 JUNO AWARD for Best Classical album. The recording is a companion CD to Mr. Ehnes' critically acclaimed Bruch Concertos Nos. 1 & 3 with l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Charles Dutoit (CBC Records) which won the same award in 2002 as well as the 2002 Canadian Independent Music Award. In January 2002, he was named Young Artist of the Year at the Cannes Classical Awards for his Six Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin by Bach (Analekta), which was also awarded a JUNO AWARD for Best Classical Album in 2001.
Mr. Ehnes's 2002 recording James Ehnes-Fritz Kreisler, with pianist Eduard Laurel (Analekta) and his 2001 release French Showpieces (Analekta) with l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec under the direction of Yoav Talmi both received JUNO nominations and earned enthusiastic accolades: of Fritz Kreisler, "Canadian violinist James Ehnes is a marvel. You won't find a better Kreisler recital this side of, well, Kreisler" (ClassicsToday); of French Showpieces, "James Ehnes has rightly taken his place among the world's major virtuoso violinists, as this release proves" (American Record Guide, May/June 2002). Also released to critical acclaim were Prokofiev's Two Sonatas and Five Melodies with pianist Wendy Chen (Analekta), Ravel, Debussy and Saint-Saëns, also with Wendy Chen (CBC Records), and Paganini's 24 Caprices (Telarc).
James Ehnes was born in 1976 in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. He began violin studies at the age of four, and at age nine, became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin. For several summers he studied with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music, continuing his studies with her in 1993 at The Juilliard School. He graduated from Julliard in 1997, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music. Mr. Ehnes first gained national recognition in 1987 as winner of the Grand Prize in Strings at the Canadian Music Competition. The following year he won the First Prize in Strings at the Canadian Music Festival, the youngest musician ever to do so. At age 13, he made his orchestral solo debut with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. James Ehnes has won numerous awards and prizes, including the first-ever Ivan Galamian Memorial Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the Canada Council for the Arts' prestigious Virginia Parker Prize.
Born in Laredo, Texas in 1964, EDUARD LAUREL began his musical studies on the trumpet at the age of eight, and his piano studies at age ten. He attended both the Southwest Texas State University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with the noted accompanist David Garvey and was a protégé of Gérard Souzay.
At Mr. Garvey's invitation, he began a fifteen-year association with the Meadowmount School of Music, Ivan Galamian's summer school for strings in upstate New York, where he played in the classes of Joseph Gingold, Joseph Silverstein, Yo-Yo Ma, Ulf Hoelscher, and Sally Thomas, among many others. He moved to New York City in 1989 to study at the Manhattan School of Music with Solomon Mikowsky and Fiorella Canin, winning the school's concerto competition and performing the Schoenberg concerto with the Manhattan School Orchestra.
Mr. Laurel has concertized extensively with artists such as Boris Belkin, Christine Walevska, and James Ehnes, in over a dozen countries on four continents. He is currently on staff at The Juilliard School and Mannes College.