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Canada’s Governor General Mary Simon and Lara St. John

Violinist Lara St. John Inducted into the Order of Canada

The Canadian violinist has been awarded the honor for exceptional contributions to the country 


Created in 1967, the Order of Canada honors individuals who have enriched the lives of others and made extraordinary contributions to the nation. Currently, over 7,600 have been invested into the order from all sectors of society. 

Violinist Lara St. John was recently inducted into the Order as a Member (C.M.) in recognition of her distinguished service in or to a particular community, group, or field of activity.

In 2021, she was invested with the Order by the Governor General of Canada on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, for service to society and innovations.

St. John began playing the violin when she was two years old. She made her orchestral debut at age four, and her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra at age 10. In the following few years, she toured Spain, France, Portugal, and Hungary, before attending the Curtis Institute of Music

St. John has performed many recitals and with major U.S. orchestras, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Symphony, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Tokyo Symphony, and Shanghai Symphony, among others. 

She has also attended the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Mannes College of Music, and the New England Conservatory. Her mentors included Felix Galimir and Joey Corpus.

Lara has since commissioned or premiered new works by various acclaimed composers, including Matthew Hindson, Martin Kennedy, John Corigliano, Gene Pritsker, Serouj Kradjian, Tarik O’Regan, and John Psathas.

In 1999, she founded her own record label, Ancalagon, on which her 2007 recording “Bach: The Six Sonatas & Partitas for Violin Solo” was the best-selling double album on iTunes that year. Also a recipient of a 2011 Juno Award, she released she/her/hers in 2022, which features solo violin works written by women. 

In 2019, St. John told The Philadelphia Inquirer that she had been abused and raped by a professor when she was 14 years old. After hearing from many other survivors of abuse from music teachers, conductors, and colleagues, St. John is now in the process of making a documentary film on this subject.

Lara owns and plays on the 1779 “ex-Salubue” Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin. 

“A week ago today, I was formally inducted into the Order of Canada!” Lara posted on Facebook. “Here I am with our Governor General of Canada #GGSimon, and I met some amazing folks — Judy Cameron, Air Canada's first woman pilot, Astrophysicist extraordinaire Sara Seager, and social justice and equality crusader Frances Wright [and filmmaker James Cameron].”

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