Known for his virtuosity and probing musicianship, violinist James Ehnes has performed in over 35 countries on five continents, appearing regularly in the world’s great concert halls and with many of the most celebrated orchestras and conductors. In addition to his solo work, he is also the first violinist of the Ehnes Quartet and the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
Ehnes’discography of over 40 recordings featuring music ranging from J.S. Bach and Antonio Vivaldi to John Adams and Aaron Jay Kernis has been honored with many international awards and prizes, including a GRAMMY, a Gramophone, and 11 JUNO Awards. James Ehnes was born in 1976 in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. He began violin studies at the age of 4, and at the age of 9 became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin. He studied with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and at The Juilliard School. 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 the age of 13, he made his major orchestral solo debut with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.
He has won numerous awards and prizes, including the first-ever Ivan Galamian Memorial Award, the Canada Council for the Arts’ Virginia Parker Prize, and a 2005 Avery Fisher Career Grant. Mr. Ehnes has received honorary doctorates from Brandon University and the University of British Columbia, and in 2007 he became the youngest person ever elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada. In 2010 the Governor General of Canada appointed James a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2013 he was named an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. James Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.