Ariel Barnes

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). His international concert engagements include concerto appearances, chamber music collaborations, solo recitals and world premiers of contemporary art music. As both a celebrated performer and recording artist, Ariel is often broadcast by CBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 3, and was selected as one of 6 cellists across Canada as a featured artist in CBC Radio’s Canadian Bach Cello Suite Project. Inspired by the innovative and unique compositional voices of our time, he is engaged in creating art music written by those such as Jocelyn Morlock, Ana Sokolovic, Glenn Buhr, James Maxwell, Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Brett Dean, Owen Underhill and Dorothy Chang. Ariel 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 Instrument Bank Competition. The breadth of his musical interests and abilities have led to collaborations with artists such as Patrick Watson and The Tragically Hip to Baroque specialist Elizabeth Wallfisch and maverick harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani.  Nourished by his experience in all major genres, Ariel’s natural musicianship is recognized in his collaboration with musicians throughout the world.

Passionate about chamber music literature, Ariel finds this genre at the core of his nourishment as an artist. His chamber music partners include the Zodiac Trio, Dover String Quartet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Musica Intima, Trio Verlaine and members of the Attacka String Quartet, among many others.  He is a frequent guest at the Saronic Chamber Music Festival (Greece) Ottawa Chamberfest, Victoria Summer Music Festival (Canada), The Zodiac Music Festival and Academy (France), and Festival de Febrero (Mexico). Along with Harpist Heidi Krutzen, Ariel forms COULOIR, an award winning cello/harp duo dedicated to developing 21st Century Art Music for this colourful and evocative combination of instruments.

To learn more about Ariel, visit

“…played passionately by Ariel Barnes…”

BBC Music Magazine