MARGARITA BALANAS cello
Thursday 30 July 2020
Meet the artist: 8pm
(including a pre-concert drink, and light refreshments after the recital)
Part of the Hattori Foundation early evening concert series
MARGARITA BALANAS cello
(Current Hattori Foundation senior award winner)
KE MA piano
(2015 Hattori Foundation senior award winner)
György Ligeti Sonata for solo cello
Chopin Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op.65
Paganini Variations on One String on a Theme by Rossini
The Hattori Foundation was established as an Educational Trust by the Hattori Family and granted charity status in 1992.
The aim of the Foundation in the field of music is to encourage and assist exceptionally talented young instrumental soloists or chamber ensembles who are British Nationals or resident in the UK and whose talent and achievements give promise of an international career.
Latvian cellist Margarita Balanas is one of the most exciting and versatile artists of her generation. Known for her distinguished artistry and mesmerising stage presence, Ms Balanas has performed to audiences world-wide being hailed as “powerful, delicate, intense and brilliant” (GLAM Adelaide).
This season’s highlights include performances for the BBC Radio 3 In-Tune, at the Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre. Balanas will also be giving public cello masterclasses in London and North America. Together with her sister, violinist Kristine, conductor Robertas Šervenikas and Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, she will be performing Philip Glass Double Concerto at the International Cello Festival in Latvia. Most recently, Margarita was extended a personal invitation by Anne-Sophie Mutter to tour with the Mutter Virtuosi across South America, India and Europe.
Balanas made her solo debut at Wigmore Hall at age 17 and has since has performed in venues such as the Berliner Philharmonie, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Latvian National Opera, Foundation Louis Vuitton, Royal Festival Hall, Casa da Musica and Le Corum, and has appeared in festivals such as Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los Angeles, the Adelaide International Cello Festival in Australia, the International Cello Festival Shanghai, and International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove and performed with the Israel Camerata, Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana, Orchestra of St Johns, IASI Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto and Cyprus Symphony Orchestra.
Margarita regularly performs with her sister Kristine, and together they have performed across the globe, dazzling audiences with their virtuosic splendour. Most recently, the sisters performed the Brahms Double Concerto at the Berliner Philharmonie, and toured France as part of the Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier. Their future collaborations include performances at the Cayman Arts Festival and Emergents Barcelona Music Festival at the L’Auditori de Barcelona where they will perform with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dalia Stasevska.
Balanas has collaborated with such artists as Trevor Pinnock, Murray Perahia, Paul Daniel, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Lynn Harrell, Peteris Vasks, Signum Saxophone Quartet, Christoph Richter, Carlos Izcaray and Thomas Riebl.
Ms Balanas is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions, and is grateful to the AnneSophie Mutter Foundation, the Drake Calleja Trust, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Philharmonia Orchestra's Martin Musical Scholarship, the Craxton Memorial Trust, the Tillett Trust, the Hattori Foundation and the Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust for their continuous support. Most recently Margarita was awarded The Musicians’ Company Silver Medal and nominated for the Grand Music Awards in Latvia as the Young Musician of the Year.
Margarita began her musical studies with Arvids Tareila and Maris Villerušs at Emils Darzins Specialist School of Music in Riga, Latvia, before moving to England to study with Alexander Boyarsky at the Purcell School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music with Mats Lidström. She was selected as one of six cellists to take part in the third edition of Gautier Capuçon’s Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle at the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
Ms Balanas plays the Charles Adolphe Gand Auguste Tolbecque 1849 cello generously on loan to her by the Little Butterfly Foundation. Camille Saint-Saëns wrote his cello Concerto No. 1 for Tolbecque who premiered the concerto on this cello in 1873. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel commissioned a short documentary about the instrument and Margarita’s performance at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which was released and presented in November 2018.
Apart from being an international soloist and chamber musician, Margarita is also a painter. Her artwork can be seen around London. This autumn she will hold her first exhibition concert as part of International Cello Festival in Latvia.
“Pianists go on a lifetime’s search for the heart of this music, but Ke Ma is already closer than many, and quicker than most” – Peter Quantrill, The Arts Desk
Born in 1994 in Datong China, Ke Ma studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Christopher Elton, Michael Dussek and Andrew West, graduating with a Masters with distinction (DipRAM) in 2017. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral study at Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Professor Joan Havill, Dr Alexander Soares and Rolf Hind.
As a soloist, highlights have included appearances with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, Sichuan Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Young Musicians Symphony, Suffolk Symphony Orchestra and the Miskolc Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tamás Gál at the Palace of the Arts in Budapest. She will perform the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 under the baton of Adrian Leaper at the Barbican Hall at the Gold Medal competition at Guildhall School of Music and Drama this year.
In 2017 Ke made her debut at Wigmore Hall under the auspices of the Kirckman Concert Society. She has given concerts across the UK, in France, Germany, Poland, the US and Canada. Recent engagements include recitals at the Purcell Room, King's Place, the Saintonge Festival, Maison Laffitte and Salle Molière Lyon in France and the Chopin Festival at the Fisher Center in Bard College, New York.
During her studies, Ke participated in masterclasses with Pascal Devoyon, Angela Hewitt, Yevgeny Sudbin, Peter Frankl, Pascal Rogé, Imogen Cooper, Arie Vardi and has attended the Luzern Piano Academy where she worked with Robert Levin. In 2019, Ke participated in Summer Piano Academy in Uelzen with Prof Konstanze Eickhorst and was very honoured to receive the Concert Award and perform in Medingen.