principal second violin
Donnie Deacon joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as principal second violin in September 2001, having just turned 22 the same week.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, he began to study the violin at age 10 and was invited to join the Royal Scottish Academy of Music at age 11. As a student of Jerre Gibson, Mr. Deacon won all of the Academy competitions and performed as soloist many times with its orchestra, of which he was concertmaster at age 13.
Mr. Deacon continued his studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London with Natasha Boyarskaya, and Lord Menuhin himself. He finished his schooling at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Jaime Laredo and Ida Kavafian.
As soloist, Mr. Deacon has performed all over the world with such distinguished orchestras as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, BT Scottish Ensemble, London Soloists, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Pablo de Sarasate Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Curtis Institute of Music. He premiered the Violin Concerto by the young Canadian composer William Rowson with the Curtis Institute Orchestra in 2001. He performed the Canadian premiere of the same piece as guest soloist with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra in May 2002.
Donnie Deacon has performed as violin soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra on several occasions including the world premiere in July 2003 of Violin Concerto No. 2 commissioned by the NAC from NAC Award Composer Gary Kulesha. Other concerts in Ottawa include performing as soloist with Thirteen Strings, and in recital on the CBC Radio Classical Encounters series. Donnie Deacon toured to prestigious festivals in Canada, the U.S. and Europe in the summers of 2003 and 2004 as a founding member of the Zukerman ChamberPlayers.
Mr. Deacon performs on both violin and viola in two Mozart quintets which are part of the NAC Orchestra’s double Mozart CD released by CBC Records and nominated for a Juno Award in 2004.
Donnie Deacon plays a Giovanni Dollenz violin from 1824 on loan to him through the Zukerman Musical Instruments Foundation for the National Arts Centre Orchestra. The violin was donated to the Foundation by longtime Ottawa resident Frederick Bender.