Violinist James Ehnes' New Album, "Nielsen"
Released on Chandos records, the album was recorded with conductor Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Violinist James Ehnes' newest release features Carl Nielsen's violin concerto, alongside his Symphony No. 4, Op. 29 (FS76) "The Inextinguishable."
The Danish composer composed his violin concerto in 1911 for violinist Peder Møller, and dedicated it to his son-in-law Emil Telmányi. Between 1914 and 1916, during WWI, he composed his 4th symphony and wanted it to depict "the elemental will to live."
"I first played the Nielsen concerto about 20 years ago, and immediately fell in love with the piece," James told The Violin Channel. "I think this concerto fills a unique spot in the repertoire. It tells such a compelling story, with such beauty, virtuosity, and amazing interplay with the orchestra, and Nielsen musical voice is so distinctive. I was thrilled to have the chance to record it with Ed Gardner and the Bergen Phil, with whom I’ve shared such a special bond over the past decade or so."
"I hope listeners will enjoy the unique “journey” of the piece, with all its beauty and tenderness, its virtuosity and humor. And I hope this will help in some small way solidify Nielsen’s place in any list of greatest violin concerti."
To purchase and listen to the album, click here.
James Ehnes adds to an extensive discography with this new album. His live recording of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot won a Grammy Award in 2019.
A founder of the Ehnes Quartet, Ehnes is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society and in 2022 was named as Artistic Partner of the Naples Philharmonic.
As a soloist, he has worked with conductors including Ashkenazy, Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Denève, Elder, Ivan Fischer, Gardner, Paavo Järvi, Mena, Noseda, Robertson, and Runnicles — and performed with orchestras such as the Boston, Chicago, London, NHK and Vienna Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles, New York, Munich and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Philharmonia, and DSO Berlin orchestras, among others.
Within the chamber music sphere, he has collaborated with leading artists such as Andsnes, Capucon, Lortie, Lugansky, Yo-Yo Ma, Tamestit, Vogler and Yuja Wang.
Ehnes began violin studies at the age of five, became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin aged nine, and made his orchestra debut with L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal aged 13.
He continued his studies with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and 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 and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. Ehnes was awarded the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Instrumentalist category.
James Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.