Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by the New York Times.
She has performed as soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, the Boston Pops, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Symphony, Zürich Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, Belgrade Symphony, Amsterdam Symphony, and the Akbank Chamber Orchestra in Turkey, among others.
In Australasia, Lara has performed with the Queensland Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony, ACO², Auckland Philharmonia, Tokyo Symphony, Yomiuri Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, China Philharmonic, and the Shanghai Symphony.
She has traveled to Latin America for appearances with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, the Saõ Paulo Symphony, Rio de Janeiro’s Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira, SODRE in Montevideo and the Sociedad Filarmonica de Lima in Peru.
Recitals in major concert halls have included New York, Boston, San Francisco, Ravinia, Washington DC, Prague, Berlin, Toronto, Montreal, and in the Forbidden City.
The Los Angeles Times wrote “Lara St. John happens to be a volcanic violinist with a huge, fabulous tone that pours out of her like molten lava. She has technique to burn and plays at a constant high heat.”
A prolific recording artist, Lara owns and runs her own label, Ancalagon, which she founded in 1999. Her first Ancalagon recording, Bach: the Six Sonatas & Partitas for Violin Solo was the best-selling double album on iTunes in 2007. Her 2008 world premiere recording of Matthew Hindson’s Violin Concerto prompted Gramophone to write: “It’s the sort of work that should get audiences running, not walking, back to concert halls on new-music nights”.
In 2009, American Record Guide said of her Vivaldi/Piazzolla disc with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela: “I can imagine no suaver, more atmospheric performance”. Her Mozart recording won the 2011 Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year for Soloist with Large Ensemble.
She has been featured in People, US News and World Report, on CNN’s Showbiz Today, NPR’s All Things Considered, CBC, BBC, a Bravo! Special: Live At the Rehearsal Hall and on the cover of Strings.
Lara began playing the violin when she was two years old. She made her first appearance as soloist with orchestra at age four, and her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra when she was 10. She toured Spain, France, Portugal and Hungary at ages 12 and 13 and entered the Curtis Institute at 13. Her teachers have included Felix Galimir and Joey Corpus.
She performs on the 1779 “Salabue” Guadagnini thanks to an anonymous donor and Heinl & Co. of Toronto.