Described as creating a “mesmerizing musical experience” by combining his “deep personal connection” (Toronto Live Music Report), “luscious tone and technical prowess”(The Vancouver Sun), Ariel Barnes has been hailed as “truly an inspiring artist…the outstanding Canadian Cellist of his generation” (Maestro Bramwell Tovey). Equally comfortable with Baroque to Modern musical languages, his international concert engagements include concerto appearances, chamber music collaborations and solo recitals, all featuring world premiers of contemporary art music. As a celebrated performer and recording artist, he is broadcast throughout the world on platforms including CBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, Hessischer Radio and Bavarian Radio & Television. His recordings have garnered two Western Canadian Music Awards, a Juno nomination, and are met with critical acclaim by the press. Solo concerts have included appearances with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, INSO Lviv Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, Kingston Symphony, Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Island Symphony, Nuernberger Symphoniker, Canadian Chamber Choir, Festival de Febrero Chamber Orchestra and the Turning Point Ensemble. With a passion for creating 21st Century Art Music he is consistently involved in working with composers and ensembles to develop new literature for the cello as a solo and chamber music instrument, currently having 3 Concerti and 11 Solo and Chamber works written especially for him. Ariel was awarded 1st Prize at the 24th International Johannes Brahms Competition, is a recipient of the Felix Galimir Chamber Music Award @ the University of Toronto and has received generous project support from the British Columbia Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts, most notably as a winner of the 2012 Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank Competition.
At the core of his nourishment as an artist are his chamber music projects and collaborations. Dedicated to this genre for nearly 20 years now, his partners have included the Zodiac Trio, Dover String Quartet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Musica Intima, Trio Verlaine, members of the Attacka String Quartet, Fine Arts Quartet, Vienna Piano Trio, Manhattan Chamber Players, Zebra Trio, Australian String Quartet, Ensemble Made In Canada, the Formosa String Quartet, and many individual artists. He has enjoyed repeat appearances at the Saronic Chamber Music Festival (Greece) Ottawa Chamberfest (Canada), Victoria Summer Music Festival (Canada), The Zodiac Music Festival and Academy (France), and is proud to be a founding member and regular guest of the Northern Lights Festival de Febrero (Mexico). Harpist Heidi Krutzen and Ariel Barnes form COULOIR, a cello/harp duo dedicated to developing a body of 21st Century Art Music for this colourful and evocative combination of instruments. COULOIR was awarded the honour of "2016 Artist of the Year" at the Western Canadian Music Awards for the release of their second recording, MAXWELL, MUHLY & COULOIR (www.couloirduo.com).
As a dedicated teacher, Ariel has fostered the talents of many cellists, aiding them in garnering prizes and recognition at the Busan Maru (Korea), Johansen (USA), Stulberg (USA) and Sheen (CAN) competitions and helping them continue their studies at some of the World’s finest music schools including the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles, the Hans Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal and the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Nourished by his experience in all major genres of performance and pedagogy, Ariel’s natural musicianship is recognized in his collaboration with musicians throughout the world.