with the Afiara String Quartet: Valerie Li, Timothy Kantor, violins; Eric Wong, viola; Adrian Fung, cello; Joseph Phillips, double bass
Caroline Léonardelli is known for her passionate and bold interpretations of French and 20th century repertoire. Born in France, Caroline studied with Lily Laskine, one of the most celebrated harpists of the 20th Century, and graduated with first prize from the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 18. She was later awarded an Artist’s Diploma by McGill University.
Her recording El Dorado received a JUNO Award nomination and, for her latest recording, Impressions de France, she was the recipient of a Canada Council award for preparation of the repertoire. This recording has also received considerable critical acclaim: WholeNote Magazine commented: ‘it is her artistic sense of pacing and of shaping melodies within cascades of notes that make these performances commanding.’ Classical Music Sentinel noted: “What she brings or adds to the music at hand is close to magical”.
Caroline Léonardelli appears regularly in recital across the continent (including Carnegie Hall), often with mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah. Other appearances include the Music Niagara, Indian River Festival (P.E.I.), Music and Beyond Festival, the Festival of the Sound, and she will be featured in a PBS/NPR live radio presentation.
Caroline has released six recordings on her own label and has a worldwide distribution agreement with NAXOS USA.
The Afiara Quartet is a dynamic ensemble, described as ‘a revelation’ (La Presse) with performances balancing ʻintensity and commitmentʼ (Montreal Gazette). After residencies at The Julliard School and San Francisco State University, the Quartet is currently Fellowship Quartet at the Royal Conservatory of Music. The ensemble is winner of the Young Canadian Musicians Award, Concert Artist Guild, Munich ARD, and Banff International String Quartet Competitions, including the latter’s Szekely Prize for the best interpretation of Beethoven.
The Afiara has performed throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, at such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Zankel and Weill Halls, the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Sao Paulo’s Museum of Modern Art, Pro Musica of San Miguel de Allende, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Amsterdam’s Muziekegebouw. The Afiara’s relentless pursuit of beauty and discovery is documented in numerous commissions of new music, and multi-genre projects.