Following is a short bio of what I do a lot of the time. However, I am also an amateur herpetologist, a video producer and editor, founding member and manager of Polkastra, (my polka band), an amateur ethnomusicologist, an arranger and the owner of the Ancalagon Record label as well as the world’s cutest iguana.
But here’s the official stuff:
Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by the New York Times.
She has performed as soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and with the Boston Pops, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Symphony, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, Amsterdam Symphony, Brazilian Symphony, Sao Paulo Symphony, China Philharmonic, Hong Kong Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, and the orchestras of Brisbane, Adelaide and Auckland among many others.
The Los Angeles Times wrote “Lara St. John happens to be a volcanic violinist with a huge, fabulous tone that pours out of her like molten lava. She has technique to burn and plays at a constant high heat.”
Lara created her record own label, Ancalagon, in 1999, and has recorded with the Royal Philharmonic, the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and The Knights, with which she won the Juno award in 2011 for her Mozart album. Of her Bach Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo, American Record Guide wrote: “I simply don’t know where else you can go to hear Bach played at this level of artistry. Once again she eclipses her competition”
Lara began playing the violin when she was two years old. She made her first appearance as soloist with orchestra at age four, and her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon when she was 10. She toured Spain, France, Portugal and Hungary at ages 12 and 13, entered the Curtis Institute at 13, and spent her first summer at Marlboro three years later. Her teachers have included Felix Galimir and Joey Corpus.
She performs on the 1779 “Salabue” Guadagnini thanks to an anonymous donor and Heinl & Co. of Toronto.