Lena Fankhauser is a violist of Trinidadian-Swiss heritage born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She started playing the violin at the age of 4. By the time she was 12, she attended the Yehudi Menuhin School in England. She studied with David Cerone in the Young Artists Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music and then began her undergrad studies at the McGill University in Montreal before switching to the viola.
She has received both her Bachelor and Master’s degree from the Julliard School of Music in New York City on a full scholarship. She moved to Austria for postgraduate studies with viola Professor Thomas Riebl at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg and subsequently played with the Camerata Salzburg. Lena Fankhauser has toured worldwide, across numerous genres, and played in many halls including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and the Royal Albert Hall in London. She was also a soloist with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra for Danny Elfman’s „Wolfman Suite“ at Hollywood in Vienna.
As a passionate chamber musician, Lena Fankhauser founded a Chamber Music Festival in Bad Ischl and (CH)AMBER, an association for new chamber music. She has played at the Proms, the Salzburg Festival and in the orchestras of the Vienna State Opera, Vienna Volksoper, Klangforum Vienna and the Munich Philharmonic and regularly performs with the UK based Chineke! Orchestra.
She is a member of the Koehne Quartet (which specializes in contemporary music) and a regular presence on the stage of the Burgtheater, most recently in “Die Bakchen”. She is a founding member, contractor and manager of the film orchestra, Big Island Orchestra Vienna.
Lena Fankhauser plays a viola made by Canadian instrument maker John Newton.
This viola made for me in 1997 has accompanied me on countless stages, journeys and I love it’s unique form and sound.
The instrument inspired composer and artist Wolfgang Seierl to portray it in the painting depicted here.
"C’est le ton qui fait la musique."