Elinor FreyUploaded Image: /uploads/E Frey.jpg

Elinor Frey is a leading Canadian-American cellist and researcher who specializes in early music and new music. Her acclaimed CDs on the Belgian label Passacaille and Canadian label Analekta – most of which are world premiere recordings – have received various honours including a Diapason d’Or. Her critical edition of DallAbaco’s 35 Sonatas is published in collaboration with Walhall Editions. Recipient of the Opus Prize for Performer of the Year in 2019-2020, Frey has performed throughout North America and Europe, as well as with her quartet, Pallade Musica. She also received a US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship and holds degrees from McGill, Mannes, and Juilliard. She teaches early cello at the University of Montréal and lectures at McGill University.

Fascinated by the cello’s origins and the creative process of new music, Elinor Frey plays both period and modern instruments. Her release on the Belgian label Passacaille, Berlin Sonatas with Lorenzo Ghielmi on fortepiano, was nominated for a Juno award for Best Classical CD, Solo & Chamber Music and won the 2015 Québec Opus Prize for Early Music CD of the year.


Her first Baroque CD, La voce del violoncello, was praised for its “careful scholarship and brilliant layering of moods and tempos” (Toronto Star) and for the “honest, reflective beauty of her music making” (Strings). Her performance of this program was the winner of the public prize at the 2013 Utrecht Early Music Festival Fringe. In 2017, she released Fiorè, the world premiere recording of the sonatas of Angelo Maria Fiorè and various unknown Italian arias the, performed alongside Lorenzo Ghielmi and Suzie LeBlanc. 

Frey’s debut album, Dialoghi, is titled for the solo piece written for her by Steven Stucky, and her CD of new works for Baroque cello, titled Guided By Voices, was released on the Analekta label in March 2019. These works are by Scott Godin, Linda Catlin Smith, Ken Ueno, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Maxime McKinley, and Lisa Streich. 

Frey’s honours include a US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship where she studied baroque cello with Paolo Beschi, the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, American Musicological Society, and Canada Council for the Arts grants facilitating her work on Italian cello music. In recent seasons she has performed with Il Gardellino, Constantinople, Clavecin en concert, Ensemble Caprice, and Les Idées heureuses, as well as with her quartet, Pallade Musica, grand prize winners of the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition and second prize winners in the 2014 International Van Wassenaer Competition in Utrecht. 

 

Photo Elizabeth Delage