The Value of Music

Apr. 18, 2014 | News

In his latest blog for the Huffington Post, James discusses the importance of music education for our children.

What is music for? Is it a pastime, a diversion? Is it a luxury, an amusement for the privileged?

Or is it something more?

In our schools, we try to ensure that children are at least given some small introduction to the great artistic accomplishments of history, mainly the classics of the written word. I went to public school, and remember being assigned to read a few Shakespeare plays, a work or two of the ancient Greeks and several of the notable "coming of age" novels of the 20th century.

But never once was I told to listen to a Beethoven symphony.

As a society, we recognize that the written word can be an artistic form of immense emotional power and intellectual value. I cannot imagine a civilized society that did not see the value in educating their young in at least some classic literature. But we ignore the great music that has moved nations and inspired our most profound thinkers to their greatest heights. Why?

Read the full article in the Huffington Post.


James wins two JUNO Awards and becomes the most JUNO-decorated classical artist!

Mar. 30, 2014 | News

James cleaned up at the 2014 JUNO Awards this weekend held in Winnipeg, winning both of the categories in which he was nominated: Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Classical for his double-disc recording Prokofiev: Complete Works for Violin (Chandos) and Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist(S) With Large Ensemble Accompaniment for his James Ehnes: Britten & Shostakovich: Violin Concertos (Onyx Classics).

The weekend’s haul brings James’s JUNO tally to nine and makes him the most JUNO-decorated classical artist. Performances with the Nashville Symphony precluded James from attending the event, but his thoughts were still at home:

“I'm thrilled and honored to have won Juno awards for these two projects that are both so close to my heart. I want to thank my wonderful and inspiring collaborators Andrew Armstrong, Amy Schwartz Moretti, Gianandrea Noseda, and Kirill Karabits as well as the amazing BBC Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphony. I only wish I could be in my home province of Manitoba to celebrate! Winnipeg knows how to party, and from what I hear this Juno week has been one of the best ever. It certainly has been for me!”


Double JUNO Award Nomination!

Feb. 04, 2014 | News

Announced at a press conference today, James's Prokofiev 2CD set (Chandos) is nominated in the category of Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble and his recording of concertos by Britten and Shostakovich (Onyx Classics) is nominated in the category of Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Large Ensemble Accompaniment. The awards will be handed out at ceremonies on March 29 & 30 in Winnipeg. Check back for updates!


In Defense of Violin Music (Huffington Post)

Dec. 2, 2013 | News

Times have changed for violinists. For generations, typical violin recital programs were like variety shows. Most often, the formula was to start with a baroque or classical sonata, followed by a large-scale romantic work (sometimes even a concerto with piano accompaniment), and to finish with a collection of shorter works -- true "violin" pieces. Alongside concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, violinists played virtuoso works by Paganini, Wieniawski, Vieuxtemps, and Lalo. George Bernard Shaw (writing under the pseudonym of Corno Di Bassetto) once wrote of the difference between great composers of music for the violin and composers of great violin music. It was this ''great violin music" that was, for so many years, the dessert at the end of the violin recital meal and a welcome and regular feature of orchestral programs.

Things are different today....

Read James's full article in the Huffington Post.


Catch James on Q with Jian Ghomeshi tomorrow!

Oct. 10, 2013 | News

James will be Jian Ghomeshi's special Friday musical guest on CBC Radio One's national arts show Q on October 11th at 10:00 am (10:30 NT). James will speak about his career and perform live throughout the show.

Listen live on the Q website. If you miss your chance, you can always catch the broadcast online later!


Radio Broadcast: James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong in Recital

Sep. 09, 2013 | News

Don't miss the chance to hear James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong's recital from Ottawa's 2013 Chamberfest on Radio-Canada's Espace Musique's broadcast on Wednesday, September 11 at 8pm.

Listen on the Espace Musique website: