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James Ehnes

Born January 27, 1976 (1976-01-27) (age 45)
Brandon, Manitoba
Instruments Violin, Viola
Associated acts Ehnes Quartet

James Ehnes, CM OM FRSC (born January 27, 1976) is a Canadian concert violinist and violist.

Life and career

Ehnes was born in Brandon, Manitoba, the son of Alan Ehnes, long time trumpet professor at Brandon University (Canada), and Barbara Withey Ehnes, former ballerina with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ruth Page's International Ballet, and Chicago Ballet, and former director of the Brandon School of Dance. Ehnes began his violin studies at the age of four and at age nine became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin. He studied with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and from 1993 to 1997 at The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation.

James Ehnes toured with Jeunesses MusicalesCanada during the 1992-1993 season, when he was only 16 years old.

In October 2005, he was awarded a Doctor of Music degree (honoris causa) from Brandon University and in July 2007 he became the youngest person ever elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2010, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Ehnes performs on the 1715 "ex-Marsick" Stradivarius. His commercial recordings have won numerous awards and prizes, including 11 Junos, two Grammies, and a Gramophone Award. Ehnes is Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society. He and violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, violist Richard O'Neill, and cellist Edward Arron perform as the Ehnes Quartet.

Ehnes lives in Ellenton, Florida with his wife and two children.


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