Latvian concert violinist Sophia Kirsanova amplifies the standard repertoire, exploring the extraordinary depth and diversity of music from her homeland, Latvia, promoting Latvian composers internationally. Sophia has enjoyed a diverse career as a soloist with orchestras, made numerous chamber music and solo recital appearances throughout Europe, Australia, and Israel.
As part of her research project exploring the distinctive voice of Latvia, Sophia curates original All-Latvian concert programs and commissions new works. The future seasons anticipate premieres of works by composers Linda Leimane and Ēriks Ešenvalds written for Sophia as well as her debut at Melbourne Recital Centre. Sophia has also presented Latvian music at the Australian Digital Concert Hall, the Mimir Chamber Music Festival (US), The Baltic Musics Conference (US), 3MBS Music She Wrote Festival, Tempo Rubato (Melbourne).
Her concerts and lecture-recitals have been praised as "wonderful, breathtaking", "demonstrating outstanding technique and musicality" and “experience of this musical event as a truly exceptional one”.
Sophia has appeared as a soloist with several orchestras, including Collegium Musicum Orchestra (Germany), Sinfonia Concertante (Latvia) and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. As a member of the Israel Camerata chamber orchestra (2009 - 2018), she frequently appeared as the soloist as well as 2nd violin section leader. As a guest player, she has also played with the Israel Philharmonic, Nordic Symphony Orchestra, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonietta Riga.
In 2018 Ms Kirsanova 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 at the University of Melbourne, where she also teaches violin, weekly violin classes and has curated the Concertmaster Mentorship Program. Sophia also teaches internationally at the World Music Encounters.
Miss Kirsanova has enhanced in masterclasses of Itzhak Perlman, Zakhar Bron, Miriam Fried, Ivry Gitlis, György Pauk, Shmuel Ashkenazy, Christian Tetzlaff. Among other music courses, Sophia participated in 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.
Sophia's major teachers have been Hagai Shaham, Michael Gaisler, Juris Švolkovskis and Nelli Sarkisian. Sophia started her musical education at the prominent Emīls Dārziņš Music School in Riga, Latvia.
Among some of Sophia's distinguishments are being the recipient of the prestigious Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship, 1st prize winner of three-chamber music competitions, 2nd prize at the Latvian String Instrument Competition of Music Colledges and two Special jury prizes at the A.Dombrovskis International Violin competition.
It is important for 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 community events and singing in the Latvian choir Daina.