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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.

She has performed as soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Queensland, Adelaide, Auckland, Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai, Hong Kong and São Paulo, as well as the Boston Pops, Royal Philharmonic, NDR Symphony, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, China Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, among many others.

Recitals in major concert halls have included New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington, Prague, Berlin, Toronto, Montreal, Bogotá, Lima and the Forbidden City.

Lara manages her own label, Ancalagon, which she founded in 1999. Her Mozart recording won a Juno Award in 2011. In 2014, her Schubert album was chosen as one of “the best CDs of spring” by Der Tagsesspiegel. Her 2016 album of reimagined folk music earned a five-star review from All About Jazz.

Lara has been featured in People, US News and World Report, NPR’s All Things Considered, CNN, the CBC, the BBC, a Bravo! special and twice on the cover of Strings magazine. In 2021 she was invested with the Order of Canada, for service to society and innovations that “ignite our imaginations.”

Lara owns and performs on the 1779 “Ex-Salubue” Guadagnini.

Lara uses a standard Kun Bravo.

PHOTO: MARTIN KENNEDY

Praised by The Washington Post for “captivating” performances that draw from its notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions,” the Aizuri Quartet was awarded the Grand Prize and the CAG Management Prize at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, along with top prizes at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, and the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. The Quartet’s debut album, Blueprinting, featuring new works written for the Aizuri Quartet by five American composers, was released by New Amsterdam Records and nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award.

The Quartet has performed extensively throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Japan, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, and Abu Dhabi, and has commissioned and premiered new works by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, Lembit Beecher, Paul Wiancko, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Gabriella Smith, Rene Orth, Michi Wiancko, and Alyssa Weinberg.

The quartet has been combining four distinctive musical personalities into a unique collective since 2012. 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. They are currently based in New York City.

 

Violinists Emma Frucht and Miho Saegusa use the Sculpted Waves Style Icon and standard Bravo rests.

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

Known for his virtuosity and probing musicianship, violinist James Ehnes has performed in over 35 countries, appearing regularly in the world’s great concert halls and with many of the most celebrated orchestras and conductors. He is also the first violinist of the Ehnes Quartet and the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

His extensive discography of over 40 recordings has been honoured with many international awards and prizes, including a Grammy, a Gramophone and 11 Juno awards.

James 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 Member of the Order of Canada, and an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music. In 2017, James was named Instrumentalist of the Year by Royal Philharmonic Society.

James plays the ‘Marsick’ Stradivarius of 1715. 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