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 Latvian violinist SOPHIA KIRSANOVA enjoys an international career, having performed across Europe and Australia. Her solo appearances and concert programming have been praised as “always appealing and intriguing,” (Marshall McGuire, CutCommon) and "demonstrating outstanding technique and musicality" (Latvietis, Melbourne).

Sophia has presented solo recitals at the Melbourne Recital Centre's Salon Series, Melba Hall Lunch Time Series, Hanson Dyer Hall New Music Studio Series, Mark Rothko Centre (Latvia), LMT Chamber Music Hall (Latvia) and many more. Sophia plays in the Duo Kirsanova-Lewis with pianist Georgina Lewis (since 2019), has been a member of the Piano Trio Ram (2008-12), guest violinist with Syzygy Ensemble (2020-2) and the member of the violin duo with her sister Ilze Kirsanova. Sophia's numerous collaborations also include concerts with pianists Agnese Eglina, Timothy Young, Berta Brozgul, Rhodri Clark and Ron Regev.

Dr Kirsanova currently teaches violin at the University of Melbourne, where she has been a Graduate Assistant (2020-21) and a Teaching Associate (since 2021). Sophia also gives international master classes (Sigulda International Master Courses, World Music Encounters) and teaches at her private violin studio. 

Sophia's passion is exploring beyond the traditional violin repertoire. She is an avid promoter of new works and commissions new compositions regularly. With a particular interest in her cultural heritage, she explores the extraordinary depth of music from her homeland Latvia and its distinctive musical voice since its independence. As part of this continuous project, she promotes Latvian composers internationally, has commissioned new works (Ēriks Ešenvalds, Linda Leimane, Sandra-Alekesjeva Birze) and has presented lecture recitals at prestigious institutions such as the Royal Music Academy in London, Amherst College (MA) and the Latvian Academy of Music.

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 at the National Gallery in Canberra.

Ms Kirsanova is the lead violinist and founder of Melbourne Strings, an All-Female string orchestra, which has presented concerts at the Hanson Dyer Hall, regional Victoria and has been the recipient of the City of Melbourne Arts Grant.

Sophia has held professional orchestra positions with Sinfonietta Riga chamber orchestra (2005/6) and Israel Camerata chamber orchestra (2009-18). Kirsanova 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, Orchestra Victoria, Nordic Symphony Orchestra, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.

Sophia has appeared as the soloist with Melbourne Strings (P.Vasks Violin Concerto “Distant Light” and "Lonely Angel"). Sophia has also been a frequent soloist of the Israel Camerata and appeared as a soloist with Collegium Musicum Academy Orchestra  (Germany), Sinfonia Concertante (Latvia) and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.

Sophia started her musical education at the prominent Emīls Dārziņš' music school in Riga, Latvia. She has also enhanced in numerous international courses. Among those are masterclasses with Itzhak Perlman, Zakhar Bron, Miriam Fried, Ivry Gitlis, György Pauk, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Christian Tetzlaff, Aurora Master Classes, the Perlman Music Program, Collegium
Musicum (Germany), the Holland Music Sessions.
Sophia holds a PhD (Performance) from
 the University of Melbourne, an Artist Diploma from the Tel Aviv University Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Master's and Bachelor's degrees from The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Her teachers have been Hagai Shaham, Michael
Gaisler, Juris Švolkovskis and Nelli Sarkisian.

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 maintains a vibrant and active engagement in the Australian-Latvian community in Melbourne, performing at the Latvian Church, events, and festivals and occasionally joining the choir Daina.

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