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Catherine French

Robert Bradford Newman chair, endowed in perpetuity, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Catherine French headshot with violin


Canadian violinist Catherine French, a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1994, has established herself as a versatile and accomplished soloist and chamber musician in addition to her distinguished orchestral career. French has won grand prizes at all three of Canada’s major music competitions: the Canadian Music Competition, the CBC Radio Competition, and the National Competitive Festival of Music. She has performed as soloist with many leading Canadian orchestras and given recitals throughout North America and Argentina. French was featured with the Juilliard Orchestra and James de Preist, the Boston Pops and John Williams, and at Carnegie Hall in her debut with David Gilbert.

French is a dedicated member of the Calyx Piano Trio and Collage New Music. Her avid interest in chamber music has led to performances at the Marlboro, Banff, Portland, Carolina, and Missouri chamber music festivals; quartet tours of Germany and China; and annual concerts as part of the Prelude series at Tanglewood and the Curtisville Consortium. French has recorded for Albany Records and is featured in Donald Sur's Berceuse for Violin and Piano with pianist Christopher Oldfather.

French began studying the Suzuki violin method at age 4 and continued her studies under the esteemed Canadian pedagogue Lise Elson. She graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Music and a Performer's Certificate, then earned a master's degree from the Juilliard School. Her teachers were Miriam Fried, Felix Galimir, and Joel Smirnoff.

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