CD Spotlight. A Very Joyous Disc - Brahms arranged by Kenneth Woods impresses Alice McVeigh. '... this is an excellent performance representing a useful, joyful and even inspired addition to the orchestral repertoire.'
(Previous sponsored features returning soon.)
Canadian violinist Lara St John was born in London, Ontario on 15 April 1971, the daughter of a language teacher and a music instructor. She began playing the violin at the age of two, and performed in public as soloist with an orchestra when she was four.
St John's education history is rather complicated. She studied locally with Richard Lawrence, then in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, with Linda Cerone, and then studied in Paris for a year with Gerard Jarry, and from thirteen, with Felix Galimir and Arnold Steinhardt at the Curtis Institute, where she received a degree. Then she became the youngest post-graduate student at the Moscow Conservatory, until, during the Soviet Union's decline, her instructors defected, and she decided to travel through the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. An encounter with the Roma people had a great effect on her. Eventually returning to her studies, she studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with David Takeno, at Mannes College of Music in New York with Felix Galimir and at the New England Conservatory in Boston with Jamie Buswell.
In 1999 she received the 1779 'Salabue' Guadagnini violin - the most important surviving example of the craftsman's work - on permanent loan.
In the same year, she founded her own record company, Ancalagon Records, named after her pet iguana, which freed her to make her own artistic choices unhampered by the commercial considerations of larger companies, producing albums such as The Red Violin and The Knights.
She has performed extensively in North America, Europe and Asia.
Further information: www.larastjohn.com
(Features listed in grey are in our archive, and available to subscribers only.)