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), cellist Ariel Barnes has been capturing audiences with his imaginative interpretations and commanding stage presence. Equally comfortable in musical languages from the Baroque to music of our modern times, Ariel's performances range from evenings of unaccompanied Bach to world premiers of contemporary art music.  Critically acclaimed by the press, he has been hailed as a “rising star” by the Georgia Straight, “a surprising standout” by the KW Gazette, “new wave” by L’Acadie Nouvelle and “a musician of real stature” by the Vancouver Sun. His solo and chamber music performances are often broadcast by CBC Radio, and he was recently selected as one of 6 cellists across the nation to celebrate the launch of as a featured artist in the Canadian Bach Cello Suite Project.  With a passion for performing, he has concertized extensively throughout North America and continues to broaden his horizons with engagements in Europe, while his solo and chamber music recordings have been received with critical acclaim including nominations for a Juno Award and two Western Canadian Music Awards.  In the coming season, among many solo recital and chamber music concerts Ariel will appear as a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Turning Point Ensemble and give the World Premier of Dorothy Chang's cello concerto with the Vancouver Island Symphony. As a winner of the 2012 Canada Council Instrument Bank Competition, he has been awarded the use of the 1730 Newland Johannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello, built in Turin, Italy, for the next 3 years.  Ariel is Principal Cello of the Grammy and Juno award winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Co-Head of Cello Studies at the Vancouver Academy of Music.  

The performance of 21st Century Art Music plays a significant role in Ariel’s creative life.  Inspired by the collaborative process of creating new music with composers, he has given the world premier of over 50 works. His new project “Couloir”, with Harpist Heidi Krutzen, keenly focuses on the creation of music for this rarely heard and evocatively beautiful combination of cello and harp.  Described as “music’s new rare pair” (The Georgia Straight), they have just released their debut CD “Wine Dark Sea”, featuring their first three creations with composers Jocelyn Morlock, Baljinder Sekhon , and Glenn Buhr. (

As an ardent chamber musician, Ariel performs with Couloir, Turning Point Ensemble ( and is a regular guest at many international chamber music festivals.  He collaborates with fine artists worldwide, and is a former member of Trio Accord and the Borealis String Quartet. Ariel’s solo and chamber music recordings can be heard on Ravello Records (PARMA), Atma Classiques, Skylark Records, Universal Music and Centrediscs. 

For more about Ariel, please visit

“…played passionately by Ariel Barnes…”

      BBC Music Magazine