Emily Westell

violin
biography

Canadian violinist Emily Westell has established herself as a versatile musician. Since her debut as soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic at age 15, she has performed as soloist and conductor with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris, and has played concerti with the Tanglewood, Banff Festival, and University of Calgary Orchestras. A winner of the 2012 Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank Competition, she was awarded the 2013 "Astral Artist Prize" from Canada's National Arts Centre. Westell has performed as a chamber musician and soloist in Paris (Cité de la Musique), New York (Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall), Boston (Jordan Hall), and the Netherlands (International Holland Music Sessions). Her concerts have been broadcast on CBC and Radio-Canada.

Westell has played at the festivals of Prussia Cove, Norfolk, Spoleto USA, Orford, Meadowmount, and Lanaudiere. She performs frequently with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and is a former instructor of violin and chamber music at McGill University. She has been invited to give masterclasses at the University of Alberta, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Calgary.

An advocate for new music, Westell has performed with the Harvard Group for New Music, Columbia Composers, NYC Azure Ensemble, Boston's Callithumpian Consort, and on the Land's End Chamber Ensemble CD, Rollin' Down #1, winner of the Western Canada Music Award for "Outstanding Classical Album." She has given the premieres of concertos by Shane Fage and Chun-Ting Pang, and performed Allan Gordon Bell's Coriolis live via videocast from the Banff Centre to the Alberta at the Smithsonian Exhibition in Washington, DC.

Westell recently completed post-doctoral Professional Studies with Pinchas Zukerman in the Manhattan School of Music's prestigious Zukerman Performance Program on a President's Award. Her previous teachers include Edmond Agopian, Miriam Fried, and Jonathan Crow. Westell holds a Doctor of Music degree from McGill University (where she was a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow), a Master's degree from the New England Conservatory and the Fine Arts gold medal from the University of Calgary, for the top graduate. 

Emily Westell performs on the 1717 Windsor-Weinstein Stradivari violin, on loan by the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.                  

 


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Short Profile

NameWestell, Emily
Born inCanada, North America
Main languageEnglish
attended UniversitiesManhattan School of Music, McGill University, New England Conservatory, University of Calgary
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Reviews
Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Day 5
2014-06-02 Strings Magazine blog, MontrĂ©al
""There were other similar delights during the week's noontime concerts: Emily Westell laid out the fugal lines of the Violin Sonata BWV 1005 with addicting eloquence on the "Windsor-Weinstein" Antonius Stradivarius of 1717.""
(Laurence Vittes)
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Talented Violin and Piano Duo at Van Art Gallery
2013-03-03 An Die Musik blog, Vancouver
""Starting with the lovely Handel Sonata for violin and continuo in D Major, HWV 371, op.1, no. 13, the musicians performed with vitality, freshness, precision, and elegance.  There was a lovely delicacy to the balance that they achieved between the piano and violin.  The performers were always attentive to the melodic line and the ornamentation was well-planned and executed...Finally, the duo performed Sergei Prokofiev's Sonata for Violin and Piano no. 2 in D Major, opus 94bis.  Originally written for flute and piano, Prokofiev transformed the work into a violin sonata at the prompting of his close friend violinist David Oistrakh.  It premiered on 17 June 1944.  The performers responded with great skill to the virtuosic demands that this piece places on both pianist and violinist.  Both violinist and pianist played with lyricism and elegance that suits the essentially classical nature of this sonata." "
(Jennifer West)
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