Lara St. John, violin
Lara St. John has been described as "something of a phenomenon" by The Strad magazine and a "high-powered soloist" by the New York Times. Canadian-born violinist St. John has performed as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra of Budapest, among many others.
Her 1999/2000 season highlights included engagements with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony, and Edmonton Symphony, while the 2000/01 season brought her debuts with the New Jersey Symphony under Hugh Wolff, the Tokyo Symphony (Paavo Jarvi), Hong Kong Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, and Calgary Philharmonic, among others. For season 2002/03 she continues her appearances on the recital stage and as soloist with orchestra, inculding performances with the symphonies of Portland, Delaware, Knoxville, the Florida Orchestra, and Northwest Sinfonietta.
Also an exceedingly successful recording artist, Lara St. John was signed to an exclusive multi-release recording contract with Sony Classical. Her first disc featuring works by Bach was released on June 10, 2003 in Canada and will be available worldwide at the end of the year.
She has been victorious in several competitions and in 1997 won the use of the 1702 Lyall Stradivarius for two years from the Canada Council for the Arts and an anonymous donor. Upon hearing her audition, the panel of judges testified, "Today we have heard one of the great violinists of our time! Inspirational." Currently, she performs on the 1779 "Salabue" Guadagnini thanks to an anonymous donor and Heinl & Co., Toronto.
Ms. St. John began playing the violin when she was two years old, soloed with orchestra at age five, and made her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra (Lisbon) five years later. She toured Spain, France, Portugal and Hungary at ages 12 and 13, entered the Curtis Institute at 14, and spent her first summer at Marlboro three years later.
Upon her graduation from Curtis, at age 17, Ms. St. John traveled extensively throughout the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Home for her is now New York City.