Latvian natives Kristīne and Margarita Balanas are two of the most exciting and versatile artists of their generation. Known for their distinguished artistry and mesmerising stage presence, the pair have quickly earned an international reputation as critically-acclaimed soloists in the vanguard of classical music. The sister’s unique and visionary approach has penetrated the industry, paving the way for a new scene in classical music, and the duo have been praised on global scale for their revolutionary ideas. Together, Kristīne and Margarita have set a new precedent in the field, and their impressive pedigree is a testament to their contributions to classical music.
They have dazzled audiences with their virtuosic splendour in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Foundation Louis Vuitton, Royal Festival Hall, and Walt Disney Hall. Most recently they made their debut at the Berliner Philharmonie, where they performed the Brahms Double Concerto. They also performed at the Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier, and the upcoming season includes joint performances at the Cayman Arts Festival, Emergents Barcelona Music Festival at the L’Auditori de Barcelona with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, and the Joseph Calleja Charity Gala with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.
Kristīne (violin), who has been described by The Times as a musician of ‘eye-popping virtuosity’, is one of the fastest rising talents on the international scene and was recently recognised as Young Artist of the Year in the prestigious Grand Music Awards of Latvia. She also received the Fundacion Excelentia Young Talent Award from Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain. Her current season includes debuts with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, and recitals across Germany, Italy, Israel, Latvia, Greece, France. Kristīne has appeared as a soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, amongst others. A regular guest soloist on Latvian National Radio Recitals, Kristīne has also performed on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ and BBC One’s ‘The One Show’.
Margarita (cello) who has been hailed as “powerful, delicate, intense and brilliant” (GLAM Adelaide) made her solo debut at Wigmore Hall at age 17 and has since established an impressive solo career on the international stage. She has performed for dignitaries and royalty, including HRH Prince Charles at venues such as Royal Festival Hall, Kensington Palace, Hattori Foundation, Ministry of Culture, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Her upcoming performances include concerts with the Israel Camerata, Cyprus Chamber Orchestra, and the IASI Philharmonic Orchestra. Other highlights include past performances at Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Barbican Centre, and participation in the International Cello Festival Shanghai, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, and the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los Angeles. Most recently she was extended a personal invitation by Anne-Sophie Mutter to tour with the Mutter Virtuosi across South America, India, and Europe. Adding to their prestige within the classical music industry, Kristīne and Margarita have been commended for their entrepreneurial insight and creativity within the greater arts community, having successfully explored their various gifts within the visual and performing arts.
The two were featured as actors and musicians alongside Robbie Williams in his music video 'Different', and in New Riga Theatre’s award-winning production of 'Story about Kaspar Hauser' directed by Alvis Hermanis. The Tel Aviv Museum in Israel recently commissioned a short documentary about Margarita’s instrument, in which she was featured. In addition to their work on screen, the sisters have been recognised for their undeniable beauty having modelled for Vogue and Molly Goddard in London Fashion Week, and since 2018, they have been sponsored by leading brands such as La Perla and GVIDO.
As soloists and chamber musicians the pair have collaborated with artists such as Anne-Sophie Mutter, Maxim Vengerov, Trevor Pinnock, Murray Perahia, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Peter, Maxwell Davies, Lynn Harrell, Peteris Vasks, Paul Daniel, Ainars Rubikis, Rory MacDonald, Gad Kadosh, Carlos Izcaray, and Vadim Gluzman. Kristīne performs on a 1787 Antonio Gragnani violin, and Margarita plays the 1849 Charles Adolphe Gand ‘Auguste Tolbecque’ cello on which Camille Saint-Saëns’ cello Concerto No. 1 was premiered in 1873.
Both instruments are generously on loan to the sisters by the Little Butterly Foundation.