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Ofra Harnoy: Bio

Ofra Harnoy has established herself as one of the greatest cellists on the world's concert stage. She is one of Canada's most celebrated personalities and is a Member of the Order of Canada. By joining the international artists roster of RCA Victor Red Seal in 1987, Ms. Harnoy became the first Canadian classical instrumental soloist since Glen Gould to gain an exclusive worldwide contract with a major record label.

Ofra Harnoy was born in Israel and immigrated to Canada at age 6. She studied with William Pleeth, Vladimir Orloff, Mstislav Rostropovich and participated in master classes with Janos Starker, Pierre Fournier, and Jacqueline du Pré. She has given concerts on five continents and has played at the request of Prince Charles, President Bill Clinton, three Canadian Prime Ministers, and several times for the Imperial Japanese family.

Ms. Harnoy has recorded more than 40 solo albums and commands a vast repertoire. She has also premiered many important works including the world premiere of the Offenbach cello Concerto in G, the world premiere of the Viotti cello Concerto in C, many world premiere Vivaldi cello concertos and the North American premiere of the Bliss Cello Concerto. Among her many recording and live performance collaborations are: Placido Domingo, Sting, Sir Charles Mackerras, Loreena McKennitt, Colin Tilney, Igor Oistrakh, Jesse Cook, Cyprien Katsaris, Claudio Scimone, Charles Dutoit, Jeffrey Tait, Anton Kuerti, and Emmy Verhey.

Ms. Harnoy has won numerous music competitions and in 1982 was the youngest first prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Award which led to her Carnegie Hall debut.

Ofra Harnoy is a gifted interpreter who wins critical raves for her performances all over the world. She has toured extensively in Europe, the Far East, Australia, and the Americas, and has performed with many of the top orchestras and most noteworthy conductors of our time. Her recording catalog spans many musical styles and genres and she has won many awards and distinctions for her recordings, including 5 JUNO Awards (Canada), the Grand Prix du Disque, and Critics Choice Awards from a number of international magazines. Ofra Harnoy was once named by Maclean's (Canada's national weekly magazine) as one of the 12 Canadian's in all fields who bring most credit to their country.

1 Bach (Arr. Mike Herriott): Six Sonates en Duo - Sonate No. 1, TWV 40.118: I. Vivace  
2 II. Adagio  
3 III. Allegro  
4 Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564: Adagio  
5 Sonata for Cello No. 3 in F Major: I. Adagio (Arr. for Cello and Brass)  
6 II. Allegro  
7 III. Largo  
8 Sonata for Cello No. 3 in F Major: IV. Allegro  
9 Violin Concerto in E Major, BWV 1042: Adagio  
10 Sonata No. 8 in D Minor, Op. 5: I. Preludio  
11 II. Allemanda  
12 III. Sarabanda  
13 IV. Giga  
14 Bist du bei mir  
15 Sonata No. 5 in B-flat Major, Op. 5: I. Adagio  
16 Miserere mei, Deus  
17 Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: II. Air  

This album presents a number of tried and true Baroque favourites on the cello, such as Bach's "Air" from Orchestral Suite No. 3, "Bist Du Bei Mir," as well as some slightly lesser known gems from composers such as Allegri and Corelli, which Ofra Harnoy interprets with the profound musicality and passion she is known for.

In Ofra's early Baroque recordings, many works were accompanied with organ, chamber orchestra, or harpsichord. For this album, however, rather than revisiting the conventional settings for these works, she has decided to use brass as accompaniment for some works, and, for the works by Telemann and Allegri, has created a cello ensemble through overdubbing and multi-tracking techniques. As much as it is a treat to hear her play this music as soloist, that joy is multiplied in hearing her play each of the nine voices of Allegri's Miserere.