Banff Festival Orchestra with James Ehnes, Ehnes Quartet and Barry Shiffman

James Ehnes, Barry Shiffman, Ehnes Quartet and the Banff Festival Orchestra

Violinist James Ehnes, the Ehnes Quartet, and violist Barry Shiffman take centre stage with the Banff Festival Orchestra in this very special gala event! Performing J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Edward Elgar's Introduction and Allegro, and W.A. Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante, this is a concert extravaganza not to be rivaled. 

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 MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, London Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Munich Philharmonic.

His extensive discography of more than 50 releases has won many awards including 2 GRAMMY awards, a Gramophone award, and 11 Junos. Recent releases include the complete Beethoven Sonatas with pianist Andrew Armstrong, the 6 Solo Sonatas by Ysaÿe, and concerti by Kernis, Howard, 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 and a member of both the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada.

Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.

Photo by Ben Ealovega

James Ehnes

Ehnes Quartet

James Ehnes, violin
Amy Schwartz Moretti, violin
Che-Yen Chen, viola
Edward Arron, cello

“They meshed together like the old friends they are, themes passing seamlessly, unison writing blending perfectly as solo themes emerged, and the ebb and flow managed beautifully.” (The Strad)

Formally established in 2010 at the Seattle Chamber Music Society, where they maintain a yearly residence, the members of the Ehnes Quartet have played chamber music together in various formations for more than 20 years. The quartet’s highly refined, sensitive and expressive performances have delighted audiences and critics across North America, Europe, and Asia, and have made them one of the most sought-after chamber groups performing today. Their award-winning discography includes quartets by Barber, Beethoven, Schubert, and Sibelius.

Photo by Jenna Poppe

Ehnes Quartet performs

Barry Shiffman

Barry Shiffman enjoys a diverse career as a musician, educator, and administrator. He was co-founder of the St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) and currently serves as both the Associate Dean and Director of Chamber Music at Glenn Gould School, and Director of the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

During his 17 years with the SLSQ he appeared in over 2,000 concerts in venues around the globe, and recorded several critically acclaimed discs under an exclusive contract with EMI Classics. While with SLSQ, Shiffman served as artist-in-residence at Stanford University from 1998 to 2006 and as visiting artist at the University of Toronto from 1995 to 2006.

Shiffman has also served in numerous roles at Banff Centre, including Director of Music Programs (2006-2010), Artistic Director of Summer Classical Music Programs (2010-2016), and Director of the Banff International String Quartet Competition since 2006. During his tenure at Banff Centre he introduced new programming in classical music performance, composition, popular music, and jazz and oversaw the dramatic growth of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, including the successful launch of the Banff Centre International String Quartet Festival in 2017.

In 2018, Shiffman was appointed Artistic Director of Rockport Music in Massachusetts, overseeing all classical programming for the organization including a five-week summer chamber music festival at the venerable Shalin Liu Performance Center. From 2009-2017, he was Executive Artistic Director of Music in the Morning Concert Society in Vancouver. A sought-after juror, he has served on the violin jury of the Tchaikovsky and Montreal Violin Competitions, and the String Quartet Competitions of London Wigmore Hall, Lyon, and Geneva.

Shiffman received his formal studies at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, University of Toronto, Utrecht Conservatory, Hartt School of Music, Juilliard School, and Yale University. Summer studies included Banff Centre, Tanglewood, and Aspen. He is also the recipient of the Longy School’s Nadia Boulanger Prize for Excellence in the Art of Teaching, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Calgary.

Photo by Stuart Lowe

Barry Shiffman is seated on a chair with a violin resting on his knee.