Kristine Balanas

2015 Julius Isserlis Scholar

Awarded: a grant of £10,000 towards studies at the Hochschule fur Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin.

Latvian Concert Violinist, Kristīne Balanas, commenced violin studies at aged seven, and has since been the recipient of countless awards in several international competitions. She was awarded the 1st Prize in addition to the ‘Virtuoso Prize’ in 12th International Violin competition in Kloster Schöntal, and 1st Prize in the Latvian National Competition for Violinists in 2004 and 2008.

Other awards include the J & A Beare International Solo Bach Competition in 2010, and from the 30th International Violin Competition Rodolfo Lipizer in 2011, alongside a special prize for the best interpretation of a 20th century violin concerto. Following from her initial education in Rīga, where she studied at the Emīls Dārziņš Specialist Music School with Romans Šnē, she was invited in 2007 to study with Professor György Pauk to study on a full scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where she completed an undergraduate degree with First Class Honours, and in 2014 graduated with a Master of Arts with Distinction. In 2012, she was awarded Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester’s Prize of 2012 for Exemplary Studentship. 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, and the Steele Trust.

Kristīne has performed as a soloist with the Latvian National Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, Slovakian Chamber Orchestra, Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonietta Riga, and the RTE National Orchestra, Dublin, with a particular highlight her 2014 soloist performance at the Barbican Centre with the Moscow Soloists under Yuri Bashmet. She has performed on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and BBC 1’s The One Show, and at St John’s Smith Square, the Purcell Room and King’s Place in London, and recently performed the
UK premiere of Miecyslaw Weinberg’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra with the Ealing Symphony Orchestra.

Kristīne has received lessons and performed in masterclasses with Leonidas Kavakos, Maxim Vengerov and Schlomo Mintz, and is the Artist-in-Residency at Buckingham University. She has recently been awarded a 3-year chamber music scholarship at the Villa Musica, Schloss Engers,
Rheinland-Pfalz. Future plans in 2014/15 include performances with Latvian National Radio Live Recitals, concerto performances with various orchestras throughout Europe and Japan, and Cello Duello.

(June 2015)

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DID YOU KNOW?

An early Philharmonic superstar was the virtuoso double bassist Domenico Dragonetti. He brought his dog Carlo to performances, and commanded higher fees than almost any other player.