‘’ Balanas captured a range of savage, untamed and psychologically wavering qualities, and proved herself bold enough both to sustain dramatic silences and – equally effectively – to destroy them violently… ‘’
– The Strad
‘’…of the violinists, I felt that Kristīne Balanas was outstanding and seemed the obvious winner of the entire competition...’’
– The Guardian
‘’Kristīne Balanas produced eye popping virtuosity...’’
– The Times
Latvian violinist Kristīne Balanas is considered to be one of the most versatile and inspiring violinists of her generation.
Her 2017-18 season includes performances of the Korngold and Elgar Violin Concertos in London, concerto appearances with the Israel Camerata Jerusalem, the Cardiff Sinfonietta and the Villa Musica Chamber Orchestra, as well as recitals and chamber music appearances in Germany, the UK, France, Latvia and Greece. Last season she was invited to perform and conduct Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, while she was equally invited to perform Prokofiev's Violin Concerto no. 1 with the London Philharmonic.
Ms. Balanas' fiery temperament and keen musicianship have brought her to perform as a soloist with such orchestras as the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists under Yuri Bashmet, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, EUYO Symphony Orchestra, Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonietta Riga, and the Latvian National Orchestra, among others.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Balanas has collaborated with acclaimed musicians Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Gluzman. She is being regularly advised by Kolja Blacher and Leonidas Kavakos.
Ms. Balanas has appeared on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and BBC One’s The One Show, while she has performed at the Dublin National Concert Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Barbican Centre, the Purcell Room and King’s Place in London.
A restless advocate of contemporary and lesser known repertoire, Ms. Balanas has given the UK premiere of Miecyslaw Weinberg’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra with the Ealing Symphony Orchestra and the Romanian premiere of Pēteris Vasks ‘Distant Light’ under the direction of Gints Glinka with the Philharmonic Orchestra ‘Oltenia’.
In 2014/15 Ms.Balanas was named Artist-in-Residence at the Buckingham University. She has also been awarded a three-year chamber music scholarship at the Villa Musica, Schloss Engers, Rheinland-Pfalz, where she has been collaborating with Boris Garlitsky, Roland Krueger and Rudiger Lotter.
Ms. Balanas has received numerous awards in several international competitions, most notably First Prize in addition to the ‘Virtuoso Prize’ in the 12th International Violin competition in Kloster Schöntal and the 30th International Violin Competition Rodolfo Lipizer in 2011, alongside a special prize for the best interpretation of a 20th-century violin concerto.
Ms. Balanas received Master of Arts Degree with Distinction in 2014 from the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Professor György Pauk on a full scholarship. In 2012 she was awarded Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester’s Prize of 2012 for Exemplary Studentship for her Bachelor’s Degree. Ms Balanas is currently under the mentorship of Kolja Blacher at the Hochschule fur Musik ‘’Hanns Eisler’’.
Throughout her course of study, she has been supported by the Countess of Munster Trust, Hattori Foundation, Martin Musical Scholarship Trust, The Craxton Memorial Trust, Steele Trust and most recently the RPS Julius Isserlis Scholarship.
Ms. Balanas started playing violin in Dobele, Latvia aged seven, with Olita Meldere. She was later invited to study with Romans Šnē at the Emīls Dārziņš Specialist Music School, acclaimed for laureates such as Andris Nelsons, Philippe Hirsshorn, Gidon Kremer, Baiba Skride and many others.
Kristine performs on a 1787 Antonio Gragnani violin, kindly on loan by the Beares International Violin Society.