Latvian violinist SOPHIA KIRSANOVA enjoys an international career as a soloist, teacher and researcher.
Sophia explores the extraordinary depth of music from her homeland Latvia and its distinctive musical voice since its independence. As part of this project, she promotes Latvian composers internationally, has commissioned new
works (Ēriks Ešenvalds, Linda Leimane, Sandra-Alekesjeva Birze and Rosalind Page) and presents lecture recitals.
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.
Sophia's interest in pedagogy and performance research led her to move to Melbourne in 2018 for a PhD (Performance) at the University of Melbourne, leaving her position at the Israel Camerata. Currently, Sophia teaches violin at the University of Melbourne, at her private studio and internationally at the World Music Encounters and masterclasses.
Ms Kirsanova is the lead violinist and founder of Melbourne Strings, an All-Female string orchestra. At their debut concert, Sophia appeared as the soloist performing Pēteris Vasks’ Violin Concerto “Distant Light”. Sophia has also been a frequent soloist of the Israel Camerata Jerusalem chamber orchestra while its member (2009 – 2018) and appeared as a soloist with Collegium Musicum Orchestra (Germany), Sinfonia Concertante (Latvia) and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. 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.
Sophia started her musical education at the prominent Emīls Dārziņš' music school in Riga, Latvia (G.Kremer, B.Skride, A.Nelsons). 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), Holland Music Sessions.
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.
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 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.