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. Alongside his concerto work, he maintains a busy recital schedule and active chamber musician. Ehnes is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
Born in 1976 in Brandon, Manitoba, Ehnes began violin studies at the age of four, and at age nine became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin. At age 13, he made his major orchestral solo debut with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.
Throughout the 20/21 season, Ehnes is named as Artist in Residence with the National Arts Centre of Canada. He has played with the NAC Orchestra many times since making his debut with the ensemble in 1993.
Ehnes has an extensive discography and has won many awards for his recordings, including a GRAMMY Award (2019) for his live recording of Aaron Jay Kernis Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot, and a Gramophone Award for his live recording of the Elgar Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Andrew Davis. His recording of the Korngold, Barber, and Walton violin concertos won a GRAMMY Award for “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance” and a JUNO Award for “Best Classical Album of the Year”.
Ehnes 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. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
James Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715. He currently lives in Bradenton, Florida with his family.