Ofra Harnoy

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Ofra Harnoy
Born (1965-01-31) January 31, 1965 (age 54)
Hadera, Israel
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresClassical (mostly)
Years active1975–present

Ofra Harnoy CM (Hebrew: עופרה הרנוי‎; born January 31, 1965) is an Israeli-Canadian cellist.[1] Ms.Harnoy has established herself as one of the great cellists on the world’s concert stage. She is one of Canada’s most celebrated personalities and is a Member of the Order of Canada. By joining the international artists roster of RCA Victor Red Seal, Ms. Harnoy became the first Canadian classical instrumental soloist since Glenn Gould to gain an exclusive worldwide contract with a major record label. Five-time Juno Award Winner, Ofra Harnoy was once named by Maclean’s (Canada’s national weekly magazine) as one of the 12 Canadians in all fields who bring most credit to their country.


Harnoy was born in Hadera, Israel. She moved with her family to Toronto in 1971. When she was six, she began cello lessons with her father, Jacob Harnoy. Her teachers included Vladimir Orloff, William Pleeth, Pierre Fournier, Jacqueline du Pré, and Mstislav Rostropovich.

Harnoy made her professional debut as a soloist with an orchestra at age ten. Her solo-orchestral and recital debuts at Carnegie Hall in 1982 brought her public and critical acclaim.

Harnoy performed and recorded the world premiere of the Offenbach Cello Concerto in 1983 and the North American premiere of the Bliss Cello Concerto in 1984. She also made the world premiere recordings of several Vivaldi concertos. In 1987 Harnoy joined the roster of RCA Victor Red Seal, and recorded several best selling albums.

Harnoy has played in many genres of music. She has played with artists such as Plácido Domingo, Sting, Igor Oistrakh, Loreena McKennitt, and Jesse Cook among others.

In 2019, Harnoy released her latest album, "Back to Bach" on the Canadian Classical label, Analekta. She is married to trumpeter, producer, composer Mike Herriott.


  • Winner of a number of major Canadian competitions
  • 1982 Concert Artists Guild award in New York
  • 1983 Young Musician of the Year by Musical America Magazine
  • 1986-97 Juno for Best Classical Album (Schubert Quintet in C)
  • 1988 Juno for Best Classical Album (Schubert Arpeggione Sonata)
  • 1990 Juno for Instrumental Artist of the Year
  • 1992 Juno for Instrumental Artist of the Year
  • 1993 Juno for Instrumental Artist of the Year
  • 1990, 1992, 1993 Juno Awards for Instrumental Artist of the Year
  • 1988 Grand Prix du Disque
  • Several “Best of the Year” and “Critic’s Choice” awards for her recordings from Gramophone magazine, High Fidelity magazine and Ovation magazine.
  • In 1995 she was made a Member of the Order of Canada

Selected discography[edit]

  • Ofra Harnoy: Back to Bach (2019)
  • Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations, Music for Cello & Orchestra (1992)
  • Ofra Harnoy: Trilogy – Cello Concertos by I Solisti Veneti, Claudio Scimone and Ofra Harnoy (1993)
  • Imagine 1996[2][3]


  1. ^ "ICS Featured Artist: Conversation with Ofra Harnoy". www.cello.org. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  2. ^ Billboard – 13 Apr 1996 – Page 79 Ofra Harnoy Imagine Producer: Jacob Harnoy RCA Victor 68376 Recorded live in the mid-'80s and now augmented with a rendition of "Free As A Bird," the selections that make up "Imagine" are cellist Ofra Harnoy's instrumental tribute to the music of the Beatles.
  3. ^ Business Review Weekly: BRW 1996 "Israel-born Canadian Ofra Harnoy is a cello virtuoso who has crossed over with her Beatles tribute Imagine (RCA–Victor). The new Free as a Bird is lovely, ..."

External links[edit]