Sophia Kirsanova photo by Pia Johnson

About

Praised as “truly exceptional one” and "demonstrating outstanding technique and musicality” Latvian
concert violinist Sophia Kirsanova enjoys a diverse career appearing as a soloist with orchestras, chamber
musician and in solo recitals throughout Europe, Australia, and Israel. Since moving to Melbourne, Sophia
quickly establishes herself as a sought-after violinist performing at festivals and most prestigious concert
venues, including Melbourne Recital Centre, Australian Digital Concert Hall and as the featured artist in
Musica Viva 2023 season.


Sophia’s artistic passion is amplifying the standard 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.


Among the most recent highlights is 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 appeared as a soloist with orchestras, including Collegium Musicum Orchestra (Germany), Sinfonia Concertante (Latvia) and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. Sophia has also frequently appeared as the soloist of the Israel Camerata Jerusalem chamber orchestra and has been its member (2009 – 2018), as well as 2nd violin section leader (on trial). Sophia has also worked with world class conductors like Vassily Sinaisky, Zubin Mehta to name a few and been 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 also teaches violin and has also taught weekly violin classes and led the
Concertmaster Mentorship Program. Sophia also teaches internationally at the World Music Encounters.


Ms Kirsanova is a recipient of prestigious grants and prizes, including the City of Melbourne Arts Grant, Australian
Government Research Training Program Scholarship. Sophia holds three 1st prize wins at different chamber music competitions with various groups and special prizes from the A.Dombrovskis International Violin competition and Latvian Music College Competition.


Sophia has enhanced in international masterclasses, such as the Perlman Music Program, Collegium
Musicum (Germany), Holland Music Sessions with such prominent violinists as Itzhak Perlman, Zakhar Bron,
Miriam Fried, Ivry Gitlis, György Pauk, Shmuel Ashkenazy, Christian Tetzlaff to name a few.
Sophia holds an Artist Diploma from the Tel Aviv University Buchmann-Mehta School of Music,
Masters from Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and her major teachers have been Hagai Shaham, Michael
Gaisler, Juris Švolkovskis and Nelli Sarkisian. Sophia started her musical education at the prominent Emils Darzins music school in Rīga, Latvia.


Sophia maintains 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.