James Ehnes was born in 1976 in Brandon, Manitoba. He began violin studies at the age of four, and at age nine, became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin. He studied with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and from 1993 to 1997 at The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation. Mr. Ehnes first gained national recognition in 1987 as winner of the Grand Prize in Strings at the Canadian Music Competition. The following year, he won the First Prize in Strings at the Canadian Music Festival, the youngest musician ever to do so. At age 13, he made his major orchestral solo debut with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. He has won numerous awards and prizes, including the first-ever Ivan Galamian Memorial Award, the Canada Council for the Arts’ Virginia Parker Prize, and a 2005 Avery Fisher Career Grant.