SONY Classical artist and JUNO Award-winner, violinist Alexandre Da Costa was born in Montréal, Québec. 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, and first prize in the International Violin Competition Pablo Sarasate.
Since becoming Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil (OSDL) in Montréal in 2019, Da Costa’s multi-dimensional artistic vision has brought increasing renown as conductor, often directing from the violin, creating orchestral programs noted for their originality and accessibility. Conspicuous for his compassion and drive, during the COVID-19 pandemic he lead the orchestra to tour locally and regionally bringing music and warmth to hospitals and aged care homes in Canada, and galvanized support for artists in collaboration with leading Canadian music icons. Accepting a rare five-year extension of his contract, Da Costa will remain at the helm of the OSDL through to the 2028-2029 season, while retaining Artistic Directorship of the Stradivaria Festival (Québec).
As violin soloist, Da Costa has performed in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia with the world’s leading orchestras including London’s Royal Philharmonic, the Berlin, Royal Seville, Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, National Orchestra of Argentina under conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Keri-Lyn Wilson, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Leonard Slatkin, Vasily Petrenko, Matthias Bamert, Alondra de la Parra, and Johannes Wildner. Da Costa has given world premieres of works by Elliott Carter, Michael Daugherty (for which he won the 2012 JUNO award), Lorenzo Palomo, Paul Sarcich, Jean Lesage and Airat Ichmouratov.
Recent engagements include as soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (Canada), Vienna Symphony Orchestra (Austria), Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra (USA) and Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra (Columbia) with cond. Josep Caballé-Domenech, Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Axelrod playing S. Wagner’s violin concerto, McGill Chamber Orchestra (Montréal), Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (cond. Keri-Lynn Wilson), and the Toronto Sinfonia. He performed in collaboration with cellist Denis Brott, Canadian chanteur Bruno Pelletier, and gave masterclasses at Royal Northern College of Music (UK). Touring annually in Australia until the pandemic, highlights have included three concerts as soloist with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (cond. Asher Fisch), national touring for Selby & Friends, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra (cond. Nicholas Milton), Zelman Symphony Orchestra (VIC), at City Recital Hall Angel Place, with the Orava Quartet at the Sydney Opera House, and Darwin Entertainment Centre.
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. 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. In 2019, SONY Classical released Da Costa’s recording of works by Richard and Siegfried Wagner with Staatskapelle Halle and conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech, following the success of his album, ‘Stradivarius at the Opera’ with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, which he directed from the violin; Da Costa’s ground-breaking latest release, ‘Stradivarius BaROCK’ toured successfully in North America with its sights firmly set on the ‘crossover’ market, bringing classical music into the worlds of jazz, rock and pop.
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. A frequent guest of chamber music festivals, recent appearances include Ottawa Chamber Fest, Musique et Autres Mondes, Canberra International Music Festival, Musica Viva’s Huntington Estate Music Festival, Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and more. His live performance broadcasts have aired on the BBC, WestDeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), CBC, NPR, ORF, ABC Classic FM and more.
Da Costa gives violin masterclasses around the world and was Head of Strings at Edith Cowan University (WAAPA, Perth, Australia) from 2014 – 2018. He plays the ‘Deveault’ Stradivarius of 1701.
For more information please also visit www.alexandredacosta.com
Upcoming performances: Sunday 11 September, the three Brahms sonatas for violin and piano at Perth’s Government House; Saturday 24 September, soloist with West Australian Youth Orchestra ahead of their December 2016 tour to Japan and Singapore.
- “Da Costa as soloist was full of leonine confidence and charismatically dominated the stage, giving a performance full of virtuoso bravura that dazzled... from fiery and dramatic to heartbreaking and lyrical... incredibly moving.”Sydney Arts Guide, November 2019 live review, Bruch violin concerto no.1, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, cond. Nicholas Milton
- “The young French-Canadian impressed with his thoughtful tenderness in the second movement... after a first movement Vorspiel that showed off his clean technique on his mellow 1701 Stradivarius instrument. The Finale further demonstrated Da Costa’s great conviction and double-stopping prowess... great rhythmic energy with beautiful lyricism.”ClassikOn, November 2019live review, Bruch violin concerto no.1, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, cond. Nicholas Milton
- “Violinist Alexandre Da Costa-Graveline began operations with an ardent reading of Falla’s Suite populaire espagnole. This performance proved memorable for the impressive power of both the Polo and Jota dances which set aside all conceptions of the suite itself as a benign collection of bagatelles... you could simply sit back and appreciate the emphatic address of these players... the two string players’ dynamism even in unison/octave passages during the Autumn and Spring movements... the post-interval reading of Mendelssohn in D minor came across as sharply defined, crisp... Da Costa-Graveline and Clerici made a moving creature of the repeated first melody to the meltingly fine central Andante”Clive O’Connell, October 2018live review, Tatoulis Auditorium, MLC Melbourne
- “in Fritz Kreisler’s arrangement of Manuel de Falla’s Danse espagnole ... the violinist really shone. With bow bouncing off the strings, pizzicati popping, and a steely, biting tone, da Costa dispatched the dance with such energy and fierce technique that he more than won the audience over.”Limelight, 2017live review, Canberra International Music Festival
- “[Olga] Kern demonstrated her flexibility by adopting an intimate, chamber music style to accompany the Canadian violinist Alexandre Da Costa in Brahms Sonata in D Minor Op 108. Both artists gave a perfect account of this difficult work.”Limelight, 2017live review, Huntington Estate Music Festival
- “Solo star of the evening was French-Canadian violin virtuoso Alexandre Da Costa… fine bowing technique… impeccable feeling for style...Da Costa was beyond reproach”The West Australian, 2016
- “Da Costa, with a clear, ringing tone and pure intonation, has excellent qualifications for this concerto... These are polished performances” (Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, op.61)Gramophone Magazine, January 2014Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Johannes Wildner
- “A great artist that I appreciate and strongly support, violinist Alexandre Da Costa."Rafael Frühbeck de BurgosMusical America Artist of the Year 2010
- "31 years-old violinist Alexandre Da Costa, who made his studies with Zakhar Bron in Madrid, plays the solo part with so much sensitivity that we soon forget how unusual this version is. In the very famous [Bruch violin] concerto in G minor, Da Costa shows all his qualities even more: irreproachable technique, sensitivity and temperament."Neue Zürcher ZeitungOrchestre Symphonique Bienne, cond. Thomas Rösner
- “Alexandre da Costa shines [in Bruch's Kol Nidrei] as the soloist, and also in the violin concerto, navigating the trickier sections with ease and producing a ravishing tone in the slow movement."Musical OpinionOrchestre Symphonique Bienne, cond. Thomas Rösner
- "What a violinist, beauty of sound, fastest fingers I have heard yet, the good taste to play different styles and great humor. Chapeau!"Leon Spierer Berlin Philharmonic Concertmaster, 1963-1993
- "Da Costa was remarkably versatile, both in the lyrical as well as the more bravura passages. He takes his time developing the music, providing plenty of color as well as a deep sense of melancholy... Da Costa’s rendition is thoroughly Spanish, filled with strong emotions and high drama."Classical CandorLalo Symphonie Espagnole (CD review)