Brandon-born violinist James Ehnes has won the Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo at the 61st Annual awards today alongside conductor Ludovic Morlot in a pre-telecast ceremony in Los Angeles.
Ehnes had earned the nomination for his performance of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Violin Concerto, which has been described as demanding “almost superhuman agility and stamina” of the 43-year old locally-raised violinist.
Kernis' Violin Concerto also earned Kernis a nomination for the Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition, which ended up winning today as well for the concerto that was written specifically for Ehnes
The Crocus Plains alum previously won a Grammy in 2008 for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra for his recording of Barber, Korngold and Walton violin concertos with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He has also won a total of 11 Juno awards
The 2010 Order of Canada recipient was featured in a December story in Canadian media for crediting his normal upbringing in Brandon as important to his eventual success.
Ehnes currently serves as the artistic director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society and now resides in Florida with family.
Photo credit: Benjamin Ealovega
Updated to clarify that Ehnes’ award in 2019 was for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, giving two lifetime awards including 2008’s win