Chamber Music Charleston welcomes multi-Grammy award-winning violinist James Ehnes to Sottile Theatre for “Chamber Music with Friends”

October 25, 2023

James Ehnes, who has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists on the international stage, makes his highly anticipated debut with Chamber Music Charleston on Sunday, November 5 at 3pm at the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre.

During the month of October, 2023, Mr. Ehnes’ solo career brings him to Amsterdam to perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, to Germany to perform the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Dresden Philharmonie, and finally to Canada to play the Barber Violin Concerto with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. On November 5th he comes to Charleston with his good friend and longtime collaborator, pianist Andrew Armstrong, along with cellist Alice Yoo to perform a program of music including Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy for Violin and Piano and Arensky’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Opus 32.

Sandra Nikolajevs, President and Artistic Director of Chamber Music Charleston, remarks “Mr. Ehnes has an incredible command of the violin and performs with intense musicality, beauty, and precision. Pairing him with Ms. Yoo and Mr. Armstrong for this program of chamber music creates an exceptional opportunity for the audiences of Charleston to experience a unique, inspiring artistic event. This is sure to be a highlight of our concert season.”

Mr. Ehnes plays on the extraordinary “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715, built by the legendary Italian violin-maker during his “golden period.” At this time, Antonio Stradivarius was at the pinnacle of his powers, using his most lavish materials and achieving an aesthetic and acoustic perfection that became the standard by which all subsequent violin-making was to be judged.

This marks the second performance in the newly launched “Chamber Music with Friends” concert series at Sottile Theatre, hosted by CMC President and Artistic Director Sandra Nikolajevs and pianist Andrew Armstrong. This innovative series combines colorful and entertaining commentary with music of the highest caliber performed by leading chamber musicians of the day.

Thanks to a generous contribution from an anonymous donor, $5 tickets are available for all students and their parents. General admission tickets range from $25-$50 with group discounts available.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call the George Street Box Office at 843.953.GSBO (4726).

About the Artists:

Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, James Ehnes is a favorite guest of many of the world’s most respected conductors. Ehnes has soloed with a long list of orchestras including 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.

Recent orchestral highlights include the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, San Francisco Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, London Symphony, and Munich Philharmonic. In 2017, Ehnes premiered the Aaron-Jay Kernis Violin Concerto with the Toronto, Seattle and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, and gave further performances of the piece with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Alongside his concerto work, James Ehnes maintains a busy recital schedule. He performs regularly at the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Center Chicago, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Ravinia, Montreux, Chaise-Dieu, the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg, Verbier Festival, Festival de Pâques in Aix, and in 2018 he undertook a recital tour to the Far East, including performances in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

As a chamber musician, Ehnes has collaborated with leading artists such as Andsnes, Capucon, Yo-Yo Ma, Vogler and Yuja Wang. In 2010, he formally established the Ehnes Quartet, with whom he has performed in Europe at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and Théâtre du Jeu de Paume in Aix, amongst others. Ehnes is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

Ehnes has an extensive discography and has won many awards for his recordings, including a Grammy Award (2019) for his live recording of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot, and a Gramophone Award for his live recording of the Elgar Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis.

Ehnes 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. He plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.

Cellist Alice Yoo has been warmly hailed for her sensitive musicianship, expressive nuance, and passionate commitment to teaching. She has performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Denver Chamber Music Festival, she and cellist Matthew Zalkind have created a new chamber music festival in Denver, Colorado that features the world’s most sought-after chamber musicians in world-class chamber music summer concerts all around the city of Denver.

A sought after chamber musician, Yoo has performed with distinguished artists including Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Dénes Varjon, Donald Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, Miriam Fried, Midori Goto, Kim Kashkashian, Jonathan Biss, and members of the Cleveland, Guarneri, Takacs, and Juilliard Quartets. Her performances have been featured and broadcasted on Colorado Public Radio, Chicago’s WFMT, and Boston’s WGBH.

Praised by critics for his passionate expression and dazzling technique, pianist Andrew Armstrong has delighted audiences across Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada, and the United States, including performances at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and Warsaw’s National Philharmonic. Andrew’s orchestral engagements across the globe have heard him perform a sprawling repertoire of more than 50 concertos with orchestras. He has additionally appeared in solo recitals in chamber music concerts with violinist James Ehnes, cellist Robert deMaine, the Elias, Alexander, American, and Manhattan String Quartets, as a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. Mr. Armstrong has released several award-winning recordings with his longtime recital partner James Ehnes. He lives happily in Massachusetts, with his wife Esty, their four children, two dogs, two guinea pigs, and two fish.



Chamber Music Charleston (CMC) is a nonprofit arts organization founded in 2006. CMC is known for its wide variety of engaging and exciting classical programs, from Ovation Concerts at the Dock Street and Sottile Theatres to intimate House Concerts in the historic homes of Downtown Charleston and grand living spaces of Kiawah Island and Bishop Gadsden. CMC attracts internationally acclaimed guest artists to play alongside their professional local musicians in over 50 concerts each season. Highlights of past seasons include performances by legendary violinist Midori, two sold-out performances at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall, concerts at the South Carolina Aquarium, Old Exchange Building, and Drayton Hall, and the commission and world premiere performance of James Stephenson’s “There Are No Words,” written in response to Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting in June 2015.