American violinist Alexi Kenney, critically acclaimed for his musical flexibility, personal style, and insightful, artistic interpretations, has an exciting season filled with solo and chamber concerts as well as his Vanguard Concerts debut.
“A creative and revolutionary lawyer with a powerful presence”
– The string of the violin
Graduated from New England Conservatorywhere he studied with Miriam Fried and Donald WeilersteinAlexi received a 2020 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and a prestigious 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant. He is a former winner of the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition and the 2012 Menuhin Competition. Society of Lincoln Center.
In April 2021, Alexi released his first recording, X Suite for Solo Violin by Paul Wiancko, accompanied by a visual album that combines each of the seven movements of X Suite with seven contemporary sculptures from the Donum Estate in Sonoma, California.
Recent solo engagements include performances with the Detroit Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Orchester de Chambre de Lausanne, and in a guest conductor role. of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony.
What is your generation doing that you hate?
Promoting superficiality, materialism and inaccessible lifestyles. Not that I don’t like the occasional expensive material thing myself, but I feel like there’s a lack of critical thinking and subtext – on social media we never see the someone’s mundane life beyond their visible personality, which I think a lot of people see and want to aspire to. It worries me to see people aiming for perfection rather than meaning and depth. Ditto for the music!
Who would you nominate to have their own reality TV show?
Martha Argerich? The Kardashian of our domain (who is not Kim Kashkashian). There would be plenty of drama.
What has sparked joy for you in the past year?
Reconnecting with the “why” of what I do – during the pandemic I had my doubts that playing the violin was what I really wanted to do. It was by reflecting and remembering those who have told me over the years how much what I do meant to them that I was able to re-engage and rekindle the love and spark that I had lost. I was also deeply inspired to be back in New York for the past few months. I love that people live their lives to the fullest here, and it’s always fascinating and humbling to share the space with people from so many walks of life.
What challenges did you encounter while studying classical music?
So much. From self-doubt, to anxiety and crippling nerves, to verbal abuse from authority figures, to countless rejections, to feeling personally out of alignment with the business side of the classical music world, to feelings of guilt to have commitments when I didn’t feel like I had anything to say, extreme loneliness on the road, existential questioning about “why does it matter?”… and yet, at the same time, I feel deeply privileged to have the opportunity to express myself through music. A lot of the challenges I’ve faced have been internal, I’ve fought with myself, but a lot have been external and societal, and I hope to see our little slice of the world start to make changes for the better. Let’s all support each other and embrace difference and change, rather than clinging to our views and perspectives!
Which industry figure inspires you the most? Why?
I love those who are constantly evolving, looking for new ways to exist on the pitch, and doing so with extraordinary ability and heart. I love and respect so many classical musicians, but I am perhaps more inspired by songwriters, artists, thinkers, poets, painters outside of classical music.