“It would be unfair to say that someday Kenney will be a superstar. He already is.”
“When an artist has truly mastered his craft, there’s a level of communication that surpasses the mundane and the misty and speaks directly to the listener. At Friday’s Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concert at Heinz Hall, violinist Alexi Kenney delivered a spectacular account of Bartok’s second violin concerto, his charisma conjuring a conversational style at once bravura and intimate…Truly a marvelous performance.”
“His approach to Bach’s music emphasized the emotional core within its rational precision and dancing rhythms, even while retaining the transparency of historically informed performance. Mr. Kenney seems to view — and, more impressively, convey — the sonatas and partitas not at the level of measures or phrases, but entire movements. Yet at no point does his interpretation draw attention to itself…He made it seem … as if this were the only possible way to play the music”
The New York Times
“A brilliantly understated soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, his interpretation unmarred by any pretense or artifice. His flawless technique and the masterful tempo and feel of Falletta’s beat brought light and air to the concerto’s first movement, where Kenney’s cadenza eschewed pyrotechnics in favor of impeccable clarity of expression.”
“He has the warm, sumptuous tone that the Bruch demands, as well as the technique to move through this richly Romantic score as if it posed few challenges.”
Portland Press Herald
“Concomitant technical and musical purity.”
Santa Fe New Mexican
“…beautifully phrased and delicate playing…Mr. Kenney’s performance of the suite by Westhoff…also proved impressive for its elegance and liquid trills and the way he conveyed each movement’s dance elements with characterful flair.”
New York Times
“…beautiful, aching tone.”
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 in the USA and abroad, and collaborating with some of the most celebrated musicians of our time. Alexi is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.
Following the 2021/22 season, which included solo appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Alexi devotes 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 of our time by Samuel Adams, Matthew Burtner, Steve Reich, Paul Wiancko, and Du Yun, as well as commissions by composers Salina Fisher and Angélica Negrón.
In recent years, Alexi has performed as soloist with the Detroit Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, California Symphony, and Sarasota Orchestra, as well as in a play-conduct role as guest leader of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He has played recitals at Wigmore Hall, on Carnegie Hall’s ‘Distinctive Debuts’ series, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, 92nd Street Y, Mecklenberg-Vorpommern Festival, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition and laureate of the 2012 Menuhin Competition, Alexi 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 Alexi’s life, regularly performing at festivals including Caramoor, ChamberFest Cleveland, Chamber Music Northwest, Kronberg, La Jolla, Ojai, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, Seattle, and Spoleto, as well as on tour with Musicians from Marlboro and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He is a founding member of Owls, a new quartet collective with violist Ayane Kozasa, cellist Gabe Cabezas, and cellist-composer Paul Wiancko.
Born in Palo Alto, California in 1994, Alexi 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 teachers 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, Alexi enjoys hojicha, modernist design and architecture, baking for friends, and walking for miles on end in whichever city he finds himself, listening to podcasts and Bach on repeat.