Elinor Frey is a leading Canadian-American cellist, gambist, and researcher. Her albums on the Belgian label Passacaille and Canadian label Analekta – many of which are world premiere recordings – are the fruit of long collaborations with artists and scholars...
Elinor Frey is a leading Canadian-American cellist, gambist, and researcher. Her albums on the Belgian label Passacaille and Canadian label Analekta – many of which are world premiere recordings – are the fruit of long collaborations with artists and scholars such as Suzie LeBlanc, Marc Vanscheeuwijck, and Lorenzo Ghielmi, as well as with composers including Maxime McKinley, Linda Catlin Smith, Christian Mason, and Lisa Streich. Elinor’s recording of cello sonatas by Giuseppe Clemente Dall’Abaco received a Diapason d’Or and her critical editions of Dall’Abaco’s cello music is published in collaboration with Walhall Editions. In April 2022, she welcomed the CD release of Early Italian Cello Concertos, a collaboration with Rosa Barocca orchestra.
Elinor is the artistic director of Accademia de’ Dissonanti, an organization for performance and research, and she has performed throughout the Americas and in Europe in recital and with numerous chamber ensembles and orchestras (Constantinople, Il Gardellino, Tafelmusik, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Arion, Les idées heureuses, etc.).
Recipient of dozens of grants and prizes supporting performance and research, including the US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship (studying with Paolo Beschi in Como, Italy) and a recent research residency at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Elinor holds degrees from McGill, Mannes, and Juilliard. She teaches early cello and performance practice at McGill University and the Université de Montréal and is a Visiting Fellow in Music (2020–2023) at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. Frey received the Québec’s Opus Prize for “Performer of the Year” in 2021 and the JUNO Award 2023 for Classical Album of the Year (Small Ensemble).
On her album: The Cello according to Dall’Abaco. 5 Diapasons.
[…] its impetus warms your heart like a friend’s smile. Whether the vein is serious […] or more sunny […], everywhere the same clarity of ideas, the same mastery.
Frey’s flawless focus and confident musicality leads us through an 18th-century cave of wonders: a joyous, antique grotto where others fail to tread.
Frey’s careful scholarship and brilliant layering of moods and tempos on this, her second album, make for a great program…Frey’s assured technique and natural-sounding musicality. She is one of a growing number of younger performers who can make period instrumental solos sizzle with the same heat as artists using modern instruments and bows.
Anyone numb to these overplayed [Bach] suites should go to her next concert.
The program here is little short of magical, and Elinor Frey’s expressive playing and command of the baroque violoncello is remarkable to behold.
[…] the elegantly shaped bowed lines contrasting with the gently pointed bass notes and occasional flourished chord – simply exquisite. Full marks then for discovery and execution!