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Alexandre Da Costa, Violin

Sony Classical artist and winner of a 2012 Juno Award, Alexandre Da Costa was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Showing an uncommon interest for both the violin and piano at a very young age, he performing his first concerts on both instruments at age nine which brought him recognition as a musical prodigy. Among his many accolades, Da Costa counts the prestigious Virginia-Parker Prize, one of Canada’s highest cultural distinctions, the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award from the Canada Council for the Arts, which subsequently selected him for the “1689 Baumgartner Stradivarius” on which to perform.

"Da Costa, with a clear, ringing tone, and pure intonation, has excellent qualifications for this concerto... These are polished performances" - Gramophone, 2014

Obtaining a Master’s Degree in violin and a First Prize from the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec at age 18, followed by a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano from the University of Montreal, after encouragement from Charles Dutoit, Da Costa finally chose the violin for his professional career. Studies at Madrid’s Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia with the legendary violin teacher who became his mentor, Zakhar Bron (whose previous students famously include the likes of Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin) were followed by post-graduate studies at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst of Vienna, Austria, with G. Schulz, C. Altenburger and R. Honeck.

Winner of many national and international first prizes, including the International Violin Competition Pablo Sarasate, Alexandre Da Costa has given close to two thousand concerts and recitals throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. He has performed the major halls of Vienna (Musikverein), Berlin (Philharmonie), New York (Carnegie Hall), Beijing (Poly-Theater) and beyond. He has played and recorded as guest soloist with the world’s leading orchestras including London’s Royal Philharmonic, the Vienna, Berlin, Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, the Dresden, Bergen, Buffalo and Prague Philharmonic Orchestras, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the National TV and Radio Orchestra of Spain, the YOA Orchestra of the Americas and more. Conductors he has played under include Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Leonard Slatkin, Lorin Maazel, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Tugan Sokhiev, Vasily Petrenko, Matthias Bamert, Alondra de la Parra, Johannes Wildner and Peter Oundjian. His live performance broadcasts have aired on BBC, WestDeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), CBC, NPR, ORF, ABC Classic FM and many others.

"In the very famous concerto in G minor, Da Costa shows all his qualities even more: irreproachable technique, sensitivity and temperament." - Neue Zürcher Zeitung

In 2017, Da Costa returns as soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (with Mo. Harth-Bedoya), the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Canada), for the Vienna Simfoniker’s New Year’s 2017/18 concerts, for Canberra International Music Festival, Musica Viva Australia at Melbourne Recital Centre and Huntington Estate Music Festival, and around Australia with performances and masterclasses in Sydney, Brisbane for University of Queensland, Darwin Entertainment Centre, and in Perth for Music on the Terrace, for WAAPA and an open-air spectacular with strings at the Quarry. He also tours extensively in Canada and North America with his show ‘Stradivarius at the Opera’ for Spectra and Jacques Primeau Productions, for his eponymous album for SONY, recorded with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. 2018 engagements include as soloist with the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Josep Caballé- Domenech.

Recent engagements include with the Hallé Staatskapelle, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Seville Royal Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Argentina, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, and concerts throughout Canada including the ‘Montreal en Lumiere’ festival; touring to Japan and Singapore as soloist with the West Australian Youth Orchestra, as guest at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and for Perth International Jazz Festival, TedX Perth, Fremantle Festival, Music on the Terrace, and WAAPA.

Da Costa has given world premieres of works by Elliott Carter, Michael Daugherty, Lorenzo Palomo, Paul Sarcich, Jean Lesage and Airat Ichmouratov. Alexandre Da Costa is also active as a chamber musician, performing alongside acclaimed chamber musicians such as Menahem Pressler, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Matt Haimowitz and Hélène Mercier, and recently recorded the complete Brahms sonatas, with pianist Wonny Song. 

As a recording artist, he has made 25 albums with Sony Classical, Warner Classics, JVC/Victor, Naxos, Acacia Classics/Universal, ATMA, XXI-21 and Octave/Universal, among them the world premiere recordings of the Violin Concertos by Portuguese composers Luis de Freitas Branco and Armando José Fernandes. In 2012, he won the JUNO award for “Classical Album of the Year” for his recording of the concertos by American composer Michael Daugherty, with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Pedro Halffter for Warner Classics. The Washington Post selected his recording of the Beethoven concerto with Klezmer cadenzas by A. Ichmouratov as one the ‘Best CDs of the Year’ in 2013.

"A great artist that I appreciate and strongly support, violinist Alexandre Da Costa." - Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos

Da Costa is Artistic Director of the Laurentians Classical Festival of Canada, Music Director of both the Acacia Ensemble (Canada) and the Indian Ocean Ensemble (Australia). He also regularly performs as guest soloist and conductor (directing from the violin) with ensembles such as the Vienna Symphony (Wiener Symphoniker), the Queen Sofia Royal Chamber Orchestra, and the Virtuosos of Venezuela Symphony Orchestra.

In an unusual aside for a soloist, Da Costa has occasionally served as Concertmaster of orchestras such as the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the Singapore Symphony, under conductors such as Tugan Sokhiev, Günter Herbig and Lorin Maazel. 

Currently Associate Professor and Head of Strings at Edith Cowan University (Western Australia), Da Costa regularly gives masterclasses at universities and conservatories around the world. He is also Musical Development Director for Canimex, and Artistic Director at Acacia Classics Productions.

Da Costa plays a Stradivarius of 1701.

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