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 – most of which are world premiere recordings – include La voce del violoncello (2013), ...
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 – most of which are world premiere recordings – include La voce del violoncello (2013), Berlin Sonatas (2015) with Lorenzo Ghielmi on fortepiano, Fiorè (2017), which features soprano Suzie LeBlanc, and Giuseppe Clemente Dall‘Abaco: Cello Sonatas (2020) which received a Diapason d’Or. In 2021, she released Antonio Vandini: Complete Works, a project in collaboration with Marc Vanscheeuwijck. Her critical editions of Dall’Abaco Cello Works are published in collaboration with Walhall Editions. Her current release Early Italian Cello Concertos (Analekta) with Rosa Barocca orchestra presents cello concertos by Vivaldi, Sammartini, Leo, and Tartini.
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, 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 throughout N. & S. America and in Europe including concerts with Il Gardellino, Constantinople, Clavecin en concert, Ensemble Caprice, and Les Idées heureuses, and for ten years with 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. Frey holds degrees from McGill, Mannes, and Juilliard. She teaches early cello at the University of Montréal, lectures at McGill University, and is the Visiting Fellow in Music from 2019-2022 at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. Frey was awarded Québec’s Opus Prize for “Performer of the Year” in 2021.
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!