This weekend, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra opens their 75th anniversary season with a gala concert welcoming back one of Manitoba’s own: classical superstar James Ehnes.  

The Brandon-born violinist has become one of the world’s most sought-after players, performing in over 35 countries on five continents, appearing regularly in the world’s great concert halls and with many of the most celebrated orchestras and conductors. 

“I’ve been looking forward to this for a longtime,” says Ehnes from his home in Florida.  

This weekend’s festivities promise to be an emotional return for the renowned player, last in the keystone province in the summer of 2019, and who has spent years building up a rapport with musicians and audiences alike.  

“It’s going to be – for me on a personal level – kind of emotional seeing people again,” says Ehnes. 

Ehnes returns to Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

A musician who “grew up” with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra – Ehnes debuted with them in 1990 – he has been engaged in concerts and performances alongside the organization for over 3 decades. 

“I remember when I first started playing with the WSO... it seemed like this institution that had been around forever,” recalls Ehnes. “It’s funny to think that that history has almost doubled in the time that I’ve known it.”  

Performing the sublime and beloved Beethoven Violin Concerto, the concert takes place at the Centennial Concert Hall on September 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Led by maestro Daniel Raiskin, the concert also features Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor.  

Watch the full conversation with James Ehnes to learn more about his relationship with the Beethoven Violin Concerto; why he picked up the violin in the first place (*SPOILER: he’s not sure); his longtime friendship with the late conductor Bramwell Tovey; and a special performance with the Winnipeg Chamber Music Society.  

To purchase tickets to “Opening Night with James Ehnes” visit: 

Winnipeg Chamber Music Society tickets are available through: