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 – include Giuseppe Clemente Dall’Abaco Cello Sonatas, winner of a Diapason...
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 – 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 (forthcoming with the London Symphonia, Ontario, in past seasons with 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.
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!