© Ben Ealovega

James Ehnes

James Ehnes is one of the most sought-after violinists of his generation, known for his breathtaking virtuosity, lyrical expression and unreserved musicality.

Orchestral highlights in recent seasons include the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony, NHK Symphony and Munich Philharmonic. In the 23/24 season, Ehnes continues as Artist in Residence of the National Arts Centre of Canada and Artistic Partner of Artis-Naples. He will also make his debut this season with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

In addition to his soloist activities, James Ehnes gives recitals, including regularly at Wigmore Hall (e.g., in 2019/20 with the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas and in 2021/22 with the complete works for violin and viola by Brahms and Schumann), Carnegie Hall, Symphony Center Chicago, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Ravinia, Montreux, Verbier Festival, Dresden Music Festival, and Festival de Pâques in Aix. An avid chamber musician, he founded the Ehnes Quartet in 2010 and is artistic director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

Ehnes has an extensive discography and has received numerous awards for his recordings, including two Grammys, three Gramophone Awards and eleven Juno Awards. At the 2021 Gramophone Awards, Ehnes was awarded the coveted title of "Artist of the Year," recognizing his recent contributions to the music industry, including the launch of a new online concert series, "Recitals from Home," released in June 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent concert hall closures. Ehnes recorded Bach's six sonatas and partitas and Ysaÿe's six sonatas from home using state-of-the-art recording technology and released six episodes over a two-month period. These recordings were met with great acclaim from audiences around the world, and Ehnes was described by Le Devoir as being "at the absolute forefront of the streaming evolution."

Ehnes began his violin lessons at age five, was accepted into the class of renowned Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin at age nine, and made his orchestral debut with L'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal at age 13. He continued his studies with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and the Juilliard School, and upon graduation in 1997 received the Peter Mennin Award for excellence and leadership in music. He is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Manitoba, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, where he is a visiting professor.