Elinor Frey

Artists with Orchestra   Ensembles and Chamber Orchestras   Soloists and Duos  

Elinor Frey is a leading Canadian-American cellist, gambist, and researcher. Her albums on Passacaille Records and Analekta (Outhere Music) – many of which are world premiere recordings – include Giuseppe Clemente Dall’Abaco Cello Sonatas, winner of a Diapason d’Or, and ...

Elinor Frey is a leading Canadian-American cellist, gambist, and researcher. Her albums on Passacaille Records and Analekta (Outhere Music) – many of which are world premiere recordings – include Giuseppe Clemente Dall’Abaco Cello Sonatas, winner of a Diapason d’Or, and Early Italian Cello Concertos, winner of the 2023 JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year (small ensemble). Her critical editions of Dall’Abaco’s cello music is published in collaboration with Walhall Editions.

Elinor is the artistic director of Accademia de’ Dissonanti, an organization for performance and research. She has performed throughout the Americas and in Europe in recital and with numerous chamber ensembles and orchestras (Rosa Barocca, Constantinople, Les idées heureuses, Il Gardellino, Tafelmusik, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, etc.). As a guest leader with the London Symphonia (Ontario), Kingston Baroque Consort, Dorian Baroque, Siren Baroque and others, Elinor specializes in Galant and early-Classical ensemble repertoire. In March 2023, she performed Boccherini and Sammartini concertos with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and in May 2023, she performed the Telemann Suite for viola da gamba and orchestra with Symphony Nova Scotia, Halifax.

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 Baroque 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 was awarded Québec’s Opus Prize for “Performer of the Year” in 2021.

© Elizabeth Delage

Projects

All the Mornings with Elinor

The Musical World of Jean Baur

A Cello in Italy

Project with orchestra

Reviews

Generous in every sense, this disc stands out for several reasons, to two of which Frey herself draws attention.

— Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone Magazine

On her album: Dall’Abaco and the art of variation.
The ensemble playing, as well as the solo passages, are exquisite, also benefiting from a very fine sound recording. It’s a real treat, not just replaying well-trodden repertoire, but inviting us to enrich our knowledge and appreciation of a wide swathe of 18th-century music that we had almost completely forgotten.

— Frédéric Cardin, Pan M 360

Elinor steps in for the first concert in Early Music Vancouver’s mini winter festival […]. Regarding her Her fingers lightly dancing like sprites, her expressions of love and laughter and her total commitment to Bach’s compositions made us want to dance with her.

— Vancouver presents

On her album: Jean Baur, Chamber Music.
A sparkling new recording […]. Frey’s tone is at once bright, warm, and focused, and she delivers with the verve and personality of a soloist. Elsewhere, in an accompanying role, she blends with the ensemble – evidence of a solid chamber musician. They are at home in Baur’s galant style, where rhythmic sprightliness, simplicity of texture, and a seemingly effortless lyricism make the music an easy pleasure – at least for the listener.
[…] Frey’s virtuosity and panache is matched by the ensemble. […] With the chamber music of Jean Baur, a remarkable find, we have an invaluable collection for the listener and for the musician looking to expand their own repertoire.

— Early Music America

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.

— Jean-Christophe Pucek, Diapason Magazine

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.

— Adam Shirkin, The Whole Note

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.

— John Terauds, The Toronto Star

Anyone numb to these overplayed [Bach] suites should go to her next concert.

— Lev Bratishenko, The Montreal Gazette

The program here is little short of magical, and Elinor Frey’s expressive playing and command of the baroque violoncello is remarkable to behold.

— Tom Gibbs, Positive Feedback

[…] 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!

— Brian Clark, Early Music Review

Videos

Early Italian Cello Concertos - Elinor Frey and Rosa Barocca

Dall'Abaco - Capriccio Primo

Giulio Ruvo - Romanella and Tarantella

Antonio Vandini: Complete Works

Vivaldi - Cello Concerto, RV 414, III. Allegro

Amo il regno et amo il figlio - Anonymous

Dall'Abaco - Capriccio Quinto

Photos

© Elizabeth Delage
© Elizabeth Delage
© Elizabeth Delage
© Elizabeth Delage
© Elizabeth Delage
© Laurent Theillet
© Elizabeth Delage
© Elizabeth Delage
© Elizabeth Delage

Calendar

April

13 April 2024
25 April 2024
26 April 2024
27 April 2024

May

4 May 2024
11 May 2024

Elinor Frey - Théâtre Desjardins

LaSalle, Québec, Canada

June

2 June 2024

Elinor Frey - Festival Classica

Montréal, Québec, Canada
9 June 2024
27 June 2024

Elinor Frey - Musique de chambre à Ste-Pétronille

Sainte-Pétronille, Québec, Canada

July

13 July 2024

Elinor Frey - Elora Festival

Elora, Ontario, Canada
19 July 2024

Elinor Frey - Concerts Lachine

Lachine, Québec, Canada
21 July 2024

Elinor Frey - Parc Victoria

Granby, Québec, Canada
23 July 2024

Elinor Frey - Belvédère de Pointe-aux-Trembles

Pointe-aux-Trembles, Québec, Canada

August

2 August 2024

Elinor Frey

Val-David, Québec, Canada