viola | US and Canada

Violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez has won critical praise for “the sweetest, most sonorous tone” (Charles T. Downey, The Washington Post) and for playing that is “tender, lyrical, loaded with personality” (Pierre Ruhe, Atlanta Journal Constitution). As a soloist and chamber musician he has performed at Carnegie Hall, the White House, London’s Wigmore Hall and King’s Place, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, the Elbephilharmonie in Hamburg, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, among many other prestigious venues. His orchestral engagements have included the Rochester Philharmonic, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, iPalpiti Orchestra, and the Colorado and Atlanta symphonies. Mr. Hernandez has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Lynn Harrell, Ralph Kirshbaum, Kim Kashkashian, Gérard Caussé, and Itzhak Perlman. Chamber music being at the forefront of his career, he was a member of the legendary Fine Arts Quartet from 2013 to 2018; violist of Harlem Quartet from its founding in 2006 until 2012; and co-founder of two ensembles specializing in the creation of new repertoire: the Boreal Trio (clarinet, viola, piano) and Trio Virado (flute, viola, guitar).

Mr. Hernandez has performed and taught at numerous festivals including the Festival Des Arcs and Festival Pablo Casals de Prades (France); Amalfi Coast Music Festival (Italy); Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (South Africa); Brevard Summer Institute, Festival Mozaic, and Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival (USA); Festicamara (Colombia); Montreal Jazz Festival; Panama Jazz Festival; Musica Mundi International Festival (Belgium), Borromeo Music Festival (Switzerland); and Festival Del Lago (Mexico).

He has been featured on radio airwaves and television broadcasts throughout Canada and the United States, including NBC's Good Morning America and Today Show, NPR radio, PBS, Telemundo, and Radio-Canada. He can be heard on recordings released by the Cedille, White Pine, Navona, and Naxos music labels.

Mr. Hernandez was born in Montreal, Canada and began his musical studies at the age of seven. His teachers have included Jean MacRae, Paul Coletti at the Colburn Conservatory, and Kim Kashkashian at New England Conservatory. He also worked with Dimitri Murrath, Paul Neubauer, Karen Tuttle, Steven Dann, James Dunham, Barbara Westphal, and Pinchas Zukerman.

He was awarded First Prize at Austria’s International Johannes Brahms Competition, adding to other top prizes at the National Canadian Music Competition and at the 9th National Sphinx Competition presented by JPMorgan Chase. Mr. Hernandez was honored with a medal from the National Assembly of Quebec for his significant international achievements.

Strongly committed to education and audience engagement, he has reached young musicians and a variety of communities through art convoys in South Africa and Venezuela, music festivals in South America, and outreach projects in Europe and North America. In 2016 he was appointed Professor of Viola at London’s Royal Academy of Music, and remains a visiting professor there following his return to Montreal. He was invited to serve on the Jury of the 2017 Johannes Brahms International Competition and the 2018 Sphinx Competition in Detroit. In September 2021 he will join the faculty at Montreal University as Professor of Viola.

Beyond his extensive classical repertoire Mr. Hernandez has regularly performed with jazz legends including Gary Burton, Stanley Clarke, Paquito D’Rivera, and the late Chick Corea. He collaborated with Nora Jones on her album Broken Little Hearts and with Corea on his Grammy-winning Hot House album, which garnered a second award to Correa for his composition “Mozart Goes Dancing,” performed with the quartet.

Mr. Hernandez is a recipient of the Sphinx Organization’s MPower Artist Grant. He plays on a 2008 Miralles viola from Altadena/California.

June 2021

Do not make any alterations to this biography. Concert presenters and other interested parties may obtain an updated and/or abridged version by contacting Katie Masterson,


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