Karen Gomyo, from Mozart to Nuevo Tango


Tokyo-born Karen Gomyo spent part of her childhood in Montreal. It was there that she began studying the violin and where she attended OSM concerts that provided her with her first meaningful musical experiences. She left Quebec at the age of 11 but is always glad to return to Montreal for concerts, not as an audience member, but as a soloist. On November 12, 2019, she will perform Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto no. 1, a jewel of this musical genre. The “silky and phosphorescent” orchestration shines the spotlight on the violin, whose by turns contemplative, virulent and exaggerated discourse guides the work to the elegiac tone of the final movement. Karen Gomyo will be accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO), conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.

From Mozart to Glass, Karen Gomyo’s repertoire includes all the great concertos. This accomplished artist has now added one more string to her bow: Nuevo Tango. Karen developed a real passion for this music, and both in solo appearances or with pianist Pablo Ziegler, her performances of Piazzolla’s Nuevo Tango have been warmly acclaimed by critics.

(Karen Gomyo, Tango Étude no. 3 by Piazzolla)

Excellence doesn’t depend on age

Karen Gomyo took up the violin when she was five. At the age of nine, she won the Canadian Music Competition, and two years later, she was admitted to the Juilliard School. Karen was 15 when she took first prize at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and the following year, she became the youngest artist ever to be presented in the Young Concert Artists Series in New York. Since then, she has captivated audiences around the world. Her rich, nuanced sound along with the finesse and expressiveness of her playing make her one of the most charismatic violinists today.

(Interview with Karen Gomyo)

Unlocking the secrets of the Stradivarius

“Many violinists spend their lives learning the instrument, but knowing how a violin is made is a whole other story,” says Karen Gomyo, who plays on the 1703 “Aurora ex-Foulis” Stradivarius. To understand what makes her violin so exceptional, Karen journeyed from Cremona to Minneapolis to meet luthiers and scientists in an attempt to uncover the mystery. Alas, Stradivarius did not reveal all its secrets.

Don’t miss your chance to hear this outstanding violinist on November 12 at the Maison symphonique, performing with the TSO and Sir Andrew Davis!


“I loved music from a very young age. Apparently I was humming and singing before I could speak words.”

– Karen Gomyo.