Latvian concert violinist Sophia Kirsanova performs a unique repertoire of Latvian classical composers and is recognised as a promoter of new works. Sophia has enjoyed a diverse career, having performed as a soloist with major symphony orchestras, held title chairs in professional ensembles, presented recitals and made numerous chamber music appearances in Europe, Australia and Israel.
Besides traditional and standard repertoire, Sophia explores and programs new, lesser-known music, particularly promoting works by Latvian composers for violin and chamber ensembles. To popularise and display the extraordinary depth and diversity of music from Latvia, Sophia has presented a series of All-Latvian concerts, collaborating with Australian musicians. Future seasons anticipate premieres of commissioned works by Latvian composers Linda Leimane and Ēriks Ešenvalds along with new works of Australian composers. In 2020 a video recording of Aivars Kalējs Toccata for violin solo was premiered at the Mimir Chamber Music Festival (USA) online concert. Sophia's curated Latvian music programs have been described as “wonderful, breathtaking”, and “demonstrating outstanding technique and musicality” (“Latvietis” Melbourne).
Sophia has been a soloist with several orchestras, including the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Camerata Jerusalem, Collegium Musicum (Germany) and Sinfonia Concertante (Latvia).
Sophia has held leading positions with the Israel Camerata and Sinfonietta Riga. She has also been a guest with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Nordic Symphony Orchestra.
As a member of the piano trio RAM, Sophia performed at major concert venues in Israel, including the ‘The Voice of Music’ Chamber Music Festival and the Eden Tamir Music Center. Sophia and her sister Ilze performed together as the Kirsanova Sisters Violin Duo, winning 1st prize in the Latvian Music Academy Chamber Music Competition, recording Michal Spisak’s Suite for Two Violins, performing in Riga and touring twice in the Latvian region of Latgale, where their family’s roots lie.
Sophia has played recitals at the Jerusalem Music Center’s concert series “Youth at the Center”, recorded for classical radio, Holland Music Sessions and, by invitation of the Israel Embassy, has performed concerts at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater and the LMT Chamber Hall of Latvian Music Academy.
As a PhD performance candidate at the University of Melbourne, Sophia has presented lecture-recitals on Latvian Violin Music at the Melbourne University research seminar and the Fine Arts and Music Symposium. Sophia also teaches violin at the University of Melbourne as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and casual staff member. In addition, Sophia curates the Concertmaster Mentorship Program for selected violin students.
It is important to Sophia to maintain a vibrant and active engagement in her Latvian cultural heritage; she is actively involved in the Latvian community in Melbourne, performing at the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Riga Cabaret Theater, the Latvian Elderly Village and singing in the Latvian choir Daina.