Fascinated by the cello’s origins and the creative process of new music, Elinor Frey plays both period and modern instruments. Her recent release on the Belgian label Passacaille, Berlin Sonatas with Lorenzo Ghielmi on fortepiano, was nominated for a Juno award for Best Classical CD, Solo & Chamber Music and won the 2015 Québec Opus Prize for Early Music CD of the year. Her first Baroque CD, La voce del violoncello, was praised for its “careful scholarship and brilliant layering of moods and tempos” (Toronto Star) and for the “honest, reflective beauty of her music making” (Strings). Her performance of this program was the winner of the public prize at the 2013 Utrecht Early Music Festival Fringe. In May 2017, she released Fiorè, the world premiere recording of the sonatas of Angelo Maria Fiorè and various unknown Italian arias the, performed alongside Lorenzo Ghielmi and Suzie LeBlanc.
Frey’s debut album, Dialoghi, is titled for the solo piece written for her by Steven Stucky. Her recent commissions for the Baroque cello are by Scott Godin, Linda Catlin Smith, Ken Ueno, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Maxime McKinley, and Lisa Streich. She recently performed Lutoslawski’s cello concerto and a new work by Colin Labadie with the Laurier Symphony and in April 2018 she will premiere a new concerto by Keiko Devaux with Ensemble Arkea and conductor Dina Gilbert.
Frey’s honours include a US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship where she studied baroque cello with Paolo Beschi, 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 with Il Gardellino, Ensemble Caprice, Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Les Idées heureuses, Arion, Clavecin en concert, and Theatre of Early Music, as well as with her quartet, 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.