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Kun Lara St John

Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by the New York Times.

Lara has played pretty much everywhere in the world (except India and sub-Saharan Africa which she would love to visit). She founded her own record label in 1999 and has produced 15 albums from solo Bach violin works to Eastern European folk music to 21st century concerto premieres, with orchestras including the RPO, The Knights and the Simón Bolívar of Venezuela. She plays in Klezmer, polka and jazz bands and has performed as soloist with most of the world’s major orchestras. She won a Juno award in 2011.

Lara is a Knight of Burgundy and a member of the Order of Canada. She also makes and edits films – from music videos to documentaries.

She performs on the 1779 “Salabue” Guadagnini, a David Wiebe from 2011, and uses  a Kun Original shoulder rest.

Kun Aizuri quartet

The Aizuri Quartet has established a unique position within today’s musical landscape, infusing its music-making with infectious energy, joy, and warmth. The ensemble cultivates curiosity in listeners and invites audiences into the concert experience through its innovative programming and the depth and fire of its performances. The Quartet’s debut album, Blueprinting, was nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award, and named one of NPR Music’s Best Classical Albums of 2018. Aizuri’s follow-up album, Earthdrawn Skies, was released in 2023 and praised by NPR as an album that “convincingly connects the dots in wildly diverse music stretching over eight centuries…arousing solemn contemplation, cosmic curiosity, folksy delight and introspective scrutiny.” Aizuri is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Cleveland Quartet Award and Grand Prize at the M-Prize Chamber Arts competition. Aizuri Quartet draws its name from “aizuri-e,” a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail.

Violist Brian Hong, Violinists Emma Frucht and Miho Saegusa use the standard Bravo rest.

Braimah Kanneh-Mason is a dynamic and versatile young violinist. He has performed throughout the UK, Europe, USA and the Caribbean. An avid chamber musician, Braimah is a member of the Kanneh-Mason Piano Trio, Seida Ensemble and Kaleidoscope Collective. He has performed at venues and festivals such as Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall, Kings Place, Highgate International Chamber Music Festival, Leicester International Chamber Music Festival and collaborated with artists such as Nicola Benedetti, Tom Poster and Priya Mitchell.

Braimah is a passionate advocate for equal opportunity and diversity in music education. He has been a mentor at Sistema England, Junior Music Works and a violin tutor for consecutive years at the Antigua Music Camp. He is currently an artist in residence at Brighton College.

Braimah studied as a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music with Jack Liebeck and Mateja Marinkovic where he was awarded the Harold Craxton Prize, the John McAslan Prize and the Dame Ruth Railton Chamber Music Prize.

Braimah currently performs on a Jean Baptiste Vuillame, kindly lent to him by the Beare’s International Violin Society.

Faced with the excruciating dilemma of whether to follow in the footsteps of her Wimbledon finalist father or fashion model mother, New Zealand-born violinist Geneva Lewis has forged a path uniquely her own as a musician of consummate artistry whose performances speak from and to the heart. Hailed by conductor Nic McGegan as “a name to watch,” Geneva’s recent string of accolades include the Grand Prize at the 2020 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, First Prize at the 2019 NEC Concerto Competition, as well as being named a Finalist at the 2018 Naumburg Competition.

Since her stellar debut at age 11 with the Pasadena Symphony, Geneva has gone on to perform with such orchestras as Symphony NH, Diablo Symphony Orchestra, Culver City Symphony, and the Pasadena Pops.

Deeply passionate about community engagement, Geneva was selected for NEC’s Community Performances and Partnerships Program’s Ensemble Fellowship, through which her string quartet created interactive educational programs for diverse audiences throughout Boston.

Geneva is currently in the Artist Diploma program at the New England Conservatory studying with Miriam Fried. Past summers have taken her to the Ravinia Steans Institute, International Holland Music Sessions, and the Marlboro Music Festival where she will return in 2021.

Geneva performs on a violin by Zosimo Bergonzi of Cremona, c. 1770 courtesy of Guarneri Hall NFP and Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins, Chicago.

Photo: Motti Fang Bentov

KUN James Ehnes

James Ehnes has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists on the international stage. Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a favorite guest at the world’s most celebrated concert halls.

Recent orchestral highlights include the National Symphony at Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, and Orchestre National de France.

His extensive discography of more than 50 releases has won many awards including two GRAMMY awards, three Gramophone awards, and 11 Junos. He was recently chosen by Gramophone as the 2021 Artist of the Year. Recent releases include the complete Beethoven Sonatas with pianist Andrew Armstrong, Beethoven Quartets with the Ehnes Quartet, the Six Solo Sonatas by Ysaÿe, and concerti by Stravinsky, Berg, Nielsen, Strauss, and Beethoven.

Ehnes began violin studies at the age of five and became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin. He continued his studies with Sally Thomas at The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation in 1997. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a member of both the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada, and a professor at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius violin of 1715, and a viola made by John Becker in 2021. He uses the Kun Bravo.

Photo: Benjamin Ealovega

One of his generation’s extraordinary talents, Scott Tixier has made a name for himself as a violinist-composer of wide-ranging ambition, individuality and drive — “the future of jazz violin” in the words of DownBeat Magazine and “A remarkable improviser and a cunning jazz composer” in those of NPR.

Tixier, born in Montreuil, France, studied classical violin at the conservatory in Paris and studied improvisation as a self-educated jazz musician. Since he moved to New York for over decade ago, he has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists, including Stevie Wonder, Kenny Barron, John Legend, Ed Sheeran, Charnett Moffett, Ariana Grande, Wayne Brady, Gerald Cleaver, Tigran Hamasyan and many more.

In addition to performing in and around the jazz world, Tixier appears in the house band on many American TV shows, including The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and America’s Got Talent.

Scott Tixier uses the Kun Bravo.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins with violin

Winner of a Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize, Kelly Hall-Tompkins has been acclaimed by the New York Times as “the versatile violinist who makes the music come alive” and by BBC Music Magazine for her “tonal mastery.” She was also featured as a New York Times “New Yorker of the Year.”

Ms. Hall-Tompkins has appeared as soloist with the Symphonies of Dallas, Jacksonville, and Oakland, and performed recitals in Paris, New York, Toronto, Washington, and Chicago. She has also appeared at Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Lincoln Center, and was “Fiddler”/Violin Soloist of the Grammy and Tony-nominated Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof.

As founder of Music Kitchen-Food for the Soul, Kelly Hall-Tompkins is a pioneer of social justice in classical music, bringing top artists to over 100 concerts in homeless shelters.

Kelly uses a standard Kun Bravo.

Internationally renowned for his masterful performances in a variety of musical styles, world class violinist Omar Puente is nothing short of a true virtuoso. After establishing himself as an accomplished musician on his native Cuban soil, Omar moved to England in 1997 where he has since played in Europe, the Middle and Far East, the USA and Africa. Having maintained close links with traditional Cuban music, classical genres and jazz, his latest album ‘Best Foot Forward’, released in 2016, is rich with energy, colour, creative arrangements and originality. Throughout his career Omar has supported and shared the stage with a whole host of other stars; Tito Puente, John Williams, Nigel Kennedy and Wynton Marsalis to name a few.

Omar’s many accolades include The Lukas Award for the Classical, Jazz or Folk Act of the Year 2018; a top 10 placement for Songline Magazine’s Album of the Year; and a nomination for Best Jazz Soloist in the 21st International CubaDisco Fair 2017.

Omar plays several violins including an 1862 Buthod & Grandini and a 6-string violin custom-made by luthier Andrew Scrimshaw. He uses the Kun Original and the Kun Collapsible. 

Described as an “excellent soloist” of “great virtuosity” (NY Concert Review), with performances depicted as “thrilling” (Boston Globe), violinist Rubén Rengel is quickly gaining recognition as a remarkably gifted artist. Rubén has appeared as a soloist with the Symphonies of Philadelphia, Detroit, Houston, New Jersey, Vermont, Venezuela, among others. As an avid chamber musician, he has performed with artists such as Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, Peter Wiley, David Shifrin, Joel Krosnick, Timothy Eddy, and Gilbert Kalish.

 In addition to classical music, Rubén has extensive experience performing Venezuelan folk music and Jazz. He also has a strong interest in the art of conducting and enjoys performing as a violist. Rubén’s teachers and mentors include Iván Pérez Núñez, Jaime Laredo, Paul Kantor, and he currently studies with Mark Steinberg.

Rubén currently plays on a 1723 Carlo Bergonzi violin on loan from a generous collection. He uses the Kun Bravo.

Photo: Kevin Kennedy

Sirena Huang is one of today’s most celebrated violinists. She brings technical brilliance and powerful artistry to the stage, alongside a profound sense of connection to her audience.

Sirena has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. In 2017, she was awarded First Prize at the inaugural Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition and was a New York Concert Artist winner. Additionally, she was a First Prize Gold Medallist of the 6th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians (2009) and won both First Prize and the Audience Award at the Cooper International Competition (2011), as well as the Verbier Festival’s Hannloser Prize for Violin in 2013.

Sirena made her orchestral debut with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in 2004 at the age of nine, and has performed in 17 countries across three continents. She has been featured as a soloist with more than 50 ensembles including the Symphony Orchestras of Cleveland, Baltimore, Shanghai, and Singapore as well as the New York Philharmonic and Staatskapelle Weimar in Germany. Sirena has appeared as a guest artist at many music festivals including Ravinia, Newport, Marlboro and Aspen.

Motivated by a deep wish to inspire peace and harmony with her music, Sirena has performed before world leaders, thinkers and humanitarians, including President Obama and Elie Wiesel. At age eleven, she gave a TED talk that garnered more than 2.5 million views. In 2006, she was honoured to play for His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and 30 Nobel Prize laureates at the World Peace Conference in Petra. And in 2007, under the invitation of former Czech Republic President Havel, Sirena played in the Opening Ceremony of the ‘Forum 2000 World Conference’ in Prague.

Sirena uses the Kun Bravo shoulder rest with Voce feet.

Photo: Todd Rosenberg