April 6, 2017
Canadian violinist James Ehnes is to join the roster of the Royal Academy of Music as Visiting Professor of Violin. Ehnes is one of the finest violinists of his generation, combining an international solo career with chamber music, and with an extensive and wide-ranging recording catalogue.His first masterclass in his new role will be on 15th June, and will be broadcast on Facebook Live.
March 17, 2017
...with James Ehnes as the soloist, the clichés often signaled by “virtuosity” — mere dazzle, effects without causes — have no bearing. It’s clear that Kernis tailored the piece to display this unmatchable violinist’s musical intelligence, taste, and beautiful sound production above all incredible technical feats he calls for (of which this piece is essentially a violinist’s compendium). Whether Ehnes was attacking a fearsome passage of double-stop chords with his signature elegance or deftly sprinkling a torrent of precisely placed pizzicati, it was like watching a veteran climber scaling a particularly brutal mountain face sans ropes. But for all the thrills and escapades, the overall impression he left of the concerto — which Kernis has dedicated to Ehnes — was of a rich, many-colored, joyful composition that has something compelling to say, and that resonates afterward.
March 4, 2017
“The pinnacle of the evening came before the interval … You couldn’t wish for a better soloist for this delicate treasure of a piece. [Ehnes’] tone is soft yet silvery, sparkling and lively. He excels in this masterpiece by letting love as an idea, a vision, a poetic ideal, be illuminated without being overly sentimental – and with masterful confidence, he makes the substantial technical challenges of this work seem completely incidental. The precision of his playing; its clarity, its delicacy, its introspectiveness, its soul, its intimacy, its intelligence – all of this [is carried across] to the Gewandhausorchester.” (Leipziger Volkszeitung, March 2017)
November 28, 2016 | News
"Well, the great Ludwig had reckoned without James Ehnes, a violinist in a class of his own. The Canadian musician’s polite, unassuming manner belies his brilliant artistry. His piercing clarity and sweet lyricism made this a Beethoven Violin Concerto to remember." (The Times, November 2016)
August 12, 2016 | News
"That always-welcome soloist, James Ehnes?, returned to resuscitate Strauss' brilliant Violin Concerto in D minor, a product of the composer's teenage years but loaded with enough virtuosity to keep Ehnes busy and a rich-if-lumpy orchestration to back his efforts. The surrounding framework of Strauss' concerto may be leaden in format but Ehnes dazzled through his warm passion as the work's focal point: razor-keen for the Allegro, maintaining a glowing warmth in his non-stop slow movement, then switching to snappy brilliance for the finale. Throughout this work – as with pretty well everything we have heard from him in live performance – Ehnes demonstrated unflappable authority, surging past Strauss' obstacles as though they didn't exist. In short, an exhilarating experience to be relished."(The Age, 12 August 2016)