Ethan Filner

Assistant Principal


Ethan Filner is a Violist with a rich and varied background. In 2019, he joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as the Assistant Principal Viola.

Ethan has received critical acclaim for his “gorgeous” mastery of the viola by publications such as Gramophone, San Francisco Classical Voice, and The Strad, who specifically praised his “wonderfully effective soft playing, full of subtle vibrato and graceful ornamentation.”

Prior to his time with the ESO, Ethan was the Violist of the Cypress String Quartet (CSQ) from 2001-16. He went on to perform as the Assistant Principal Viola with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) from 2017-19. Ethan is also a noted music educator, having held the position of Sessional Teacher of Viola at the University of Toronto from 2016-19.

He has recorded nearly 20 albums, commissioned or premiered dozens of new works, presented educational outreach programs for thousands of students of all ages, and collaborated with many of today’s leading classical artists. Highlights from the CSQ’s discography include the complete String Quartets of Beethoven, the two String Sextets of Brahms with Barry Shiffman and Zuill Bailey, and the Schubert C Major Cello Quintet with Gary Hoffman.

Following the CSQ’s disbanding in 2016, Ethan and his family moved to Ontario, where he quickly grew busy freelancing with the likes of the Toronto Symphony, National Arts Centre, Canadian Opera Company, National Ballet, and Toronto Concert Orchestras. He has also been in-demand as a soloist and chamber musician, performing regularly throughout the GTA and for the K-W Chamber Music Society in Waterloo. His notable recent collaborators are many, including the Zemlinsky and Penderecki String Quartets, the Gryphon Trio, and various members of the TSO, KWS, and ESO.

Recently, Ethan was a featured performer in the Summer Solstice Festival in Edmonton, the Elora and Niagara Music Festivals in Ontario, and El Paso Pro Musica’s Summerfest’19: “Spanish Nights” in Texas, and a section player in the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra in Wyoming.

Ethan has enjoyed an active and varied musical career. He takes pride in the fact that his talents have not only propelled him as a performer, but also as a teacher and coach to many.