Alexi Kenney, Violin
Violinist Alexi Kenney is forging a career that defies categorization, following his interests, intuition and heart. He is equally at home creating experimental programs and commissioning new works, soloing with major orchestras around the world, and collaborating with some of the most celebrated musicians of our time. received a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2020 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.
Recent and upcoming highlights as soloist include appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Gulbenkian Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Kenney devoted the first part of 2023 to the debut of his new project Shifting Ground, bringing it to the Celebrity Series of Boston, Cal Performances, Princeton University Concerts, and the Phillips Collection. Shifting Ground intersperses seminal works for solo violin by J.S. Bach with pieces by Matthew Burtner, Georges Enescu, Nicola Matteis, Steve Reich, Paul Wiancko, and Du Yun, as well as new commissions by composers Salina Fisher and Angélica Negrón.
Kenney has also performed as soloist with the Amarillo, Asheville, California, Charlotte, Columbus, Eugene, New Haven, Omaha, Oregon, Princeton, Santa Fe, and Virginia symphonies; the Louisville and Sarasota orchestras; the Las Vegas, Reno, and Rhode Island philharmonics, and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, as well as in a play-conduct role as guest leader of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He has played recitals at Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall’s “Distinctive Debuts” series, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the 92nd Street Y, the Mecklenberg-Vorpommern Festival, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition and laureate of the 2012 Menuhin Competition, Kenney has been profiled by Musical America, Strings Magazine, and The New York Times, and has written for The Strad.
Chamber music continues to be a major part of Kenney’s life, regularly performing at festivals including Caramoor, ChamberFest Cleveland, Chamber Music Northwest, Kronberg, La Jolla, Ojai, Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, Seattle, and Spoleto, and as a founding member of Owls—an inverted quartet hailed as a “dream group” by The New York Times—alongside violist Ayane Kozasa, cellist Gabe Cabezas, and cellist-composer Paul Wiancko. He is an alum of the Bowers Program (formerly CMS 2) at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Born in Palo Alto, California in 1994, Kenney is a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he received an Artist Diploma as a student of Miriam Fried and Donald Weilerstein. Previous mentors in the Bay Area include Wei He, Jenny Rudin, and Natasha Fong. He plays a violin made in London by Stefan-Peter Greiner in 2009 and a bow by François-Nicolas Voirin.
Outside of music, Kenney enjoys hojicha, modernist design and architecture, baking for friends (especially lumberjack cake), and walking for miles on end in whichever city he finds himself, listening to podcasts and Bach on repeat.