Lea Kirstein is a multi-instrumentalist (fiddle / violin, viola, and cello), educator, concert presenter, and Artistic Director of World on a String, and is currently based in Toronto, Ontario.
Lea grew up in Victoria, BC, immersed in many different traditional and contemporary fiddle styles, studying with Daniel Lapp and with Oliver Schroer while in the national youth fiddle project, the Twisted String. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, studying viola with Joanna Hood, at the University of Victoria, she then attended fiddle camps like Mike Block String Camp, Shasta, Port Townsend Fiddle Tunes, and Mark O’Connor’s Fiddle Camp (NYC).
Collaborations with other musicians have led her on tours across Canada and the US with: Medusa (global chamber folk quintet), Citizen Jane (folk pop duo), Roaring Timber (fiddle jazz quartet), the Folk Arts Quartet, and Balfolk Toronto (social folk music and dance.)
She has recorded with JUNO nominees Teresa Doyle, Leif Vollebekk, and with Nuala Kennedy, and currently freelances in the Toronto music scene with new classical, jazz, pop, singer-songwriter, and folk music groups.
World on a String is a collective presenting concerts, biweekly jams, and group classes for fiddlers of all ages, focusing on traditional folk tunes from around the world. Collaboration & jamming encouraged!
She is in demand as a guest workshop clinician and classroom teacher, having been invited to perform and teach at the following fiddle camps, strings programs, and music schools: Guest mentor/clinician/arranger for the Bulkley Valley Youth Fiddlers (Smithers), Former Artistic Director of Bad to the Bow Youth Fiddle Groups (Sunshine Coast, BC), AlgomaTrad (St Joseph Island), Dawson Fiddlers (Yukon), Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddlers (Williams Lake), Fiddleworks (Saltspring), World Fiddle Day Toronto (4 years), Vancouver CeltFest, El Sistema Toronto, Peel District Strings, Regent Park School of Music, Sunnybrook Elementary, Sunrise Waldorf Elementary, and the Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music.