Latvian concert violinist SOPHIA KIRSANOVA enjoys a diverse career as a soloist and chamber
musician, having performed throughout Europe, Australia, and Israel. Since moving to Melbourne, Sophia
quickly establishes herself as a sought-after violinist performing in festivals and the most prestigious concert
venues, including Melbourne Recital Centre and Australian Digital Concert Hall, as the featured artist in
Musica Viva regional touring and as a guest concertmaster in various orchestra projects.
Sophia’s artistic passion is amplifying the standard violin repertoire. As part of her research project on
the distinctive musical voice of Latvia since its independence, she explores the extraordinary depth of music
from her homeland. Sophia is a devoted promoter of Latvian composers internationally and commissions new
works, such as by Ēriks Ešenvalds, Linda Leimane, Sandra-Alekesjeva Birze and Rosalind Page written for Sophia.
In 2022 Sophia received an honorary acknowledgment from the Latvian Association in Australia and New Zealand for the promotion of Latvian composers. She was also invited to perform at the opening of the Latvian Embassy in Canberra.
Among the recent highlights has been Sophia's performance of Pēteris Vasks’ Violin Concerto “Distant Light” in 2022 with the All-Female string orchestra Melbourne Strings, of which Sophia is the founder and the lead violinist. Sophia has also appeared as a soloist with orchestras, including Collegium Musicum Orchestra (Germany), Sinfonia Concertante (Latvia) and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. Sophia has been a frequent soloist of the Israel Camerata Jerusalem chamber orchestra while being its member (2009 – 2018), as well as 2nd violin section leader (on trial). Sophia has worked with world-class conductors such as Vassily Sinaisky, Zubin Mehta and Mendi Rodan and has been a guest player with the Israel Philharmonic, Nordic Symphony Orchestra, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonietta Riga.
In 2018 Sophia moved to Australia, leaving her position at the Israel Camerata, to pursue her passion for
pedagogy and performance research. Sophia is currently a PhD candidate in music performance at the University of Melbourne, where she teaches violin, has taught weekly violin classes and led the
Concertmaster Mentorship Program. Sophia also teaches internationally at the World Music Encounters and privately at her home studio.
Ms Kirsanova is a recipient of prestigious grants and prizes, including the City of Melbourne Arts Grant and the Australian
Government Research Training Program Scholarship. Sophia is a laureate of several competitions, including the 1st prize at the Dina Turgeman Chamber Music Competition, and Special Jury Prizes at the A. Dombrovskis International Violin competition and 2nd Prize at the All-State Latvian Music College Competition.
Sophia has enhanced in international masterclasses, such as the Perlman Music Program, Collegium
Musicum (Germany), Holland Music Sessions with prominent violinists - Itzhak Perlman, Zakhar Bron,
Miriam Fried, Ivry Gitlis, György Pauk, Shmuel Ashkenazy, Christian Tetzlaff etc.
Sophia holds an Artist Diploma from the Tel Aviv University Buchmann-Mehta School of Music,
Masters from Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance studying with Hagai Shaham, Michael
Gaisler, Juris Švolkovskis and Nelli Sarkisian. Sophia started her musical education at the prominent Emīls Dārziņš' music school in Riga, Latvia.
Sophia maintains a vibrant and active engagement in her Latvian cultural heritage;
she is actively involved in the Latvian community in Melbourne, often performing at events and
singing in the Latvian choir Daina.