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James Ehnes
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Grammy award-winner James Ehnes is one of the world’s most acclaimed violin soloists, founder of the Ehnes Quartet, and artistic director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

Entries by James Ehnes

The Value of Music

(4) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 2:32 PM

What is music for? Is it a pastime, a diversion? Is it a luxury, an amusement for the privileged?

Or is it something more?

In our schools, we try to ensure that children are at least given some small introduction to the great artistic accomplishments of history, mainly the...

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In Defense of Violin Music

(5) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 12:05 PM

Times have changed for violinists. For generations, typical violin recital programs were like variety shows. Most often, the formula was to start with a baroque or classical sonata, followed by a large-scale romantic work (sometimes even a concerto with piano accompaniment), and to finish with a collection of shorter works...

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Smartphones in the Concert Hall

(66) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 7:07 PM

At a recent concert where I played the Brahms concerto, a young man in the second row filmed my entire performance on his smartphone. When I first noticed him, my reaction was one of surprise and mild annoyance. This sort of thing is prohibited, as a rule, in most if...

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How Do People Listen?

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 3:18 PM

In interviews, classical musicians are often asked how they would like their performances to be "experienced." It is an interesting question that elicits varied and sometimes fascinating responses, but it also raises a couple of other fundamental questions. Is there a "best" way for music to be experienced? And does...

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From the Land of Hockey, Beer, and Back Bacon

(3) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 12:52 PM

Canada is a wonderful place.

On my travels around the globe, I get asked a lot of questions about Canada. Most of the questions are about what it is like being a classical musician from Canada. A lot of people seem to think that the very idea of a classical...

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Are the "Great" Violins Really So Great?

(4) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 5:42 PM

There has been a lot of debate in recent years over what makes a violin special, and, indeed, whether the violins that have traditionally been considered the greatest -- those by Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, in particular -- are really special at all. Are the great old...

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