Latvian cellist Margarita Balanas is one of the most exciting and versatile artists of her generation. Known for her distinguished artistry and mesmerising stage presence, she has performed to audiences world-wide being hailed as “powerful, delicate, intense and brilliant” (GLAM Adelaide).Read More
Balanas made her solo debut at Wigmore Hall at age 17 and has performed for dignitaries and royalty, including HRH Prince Charles at venues such as Royal Festival Hall, Berliner Philharmonie, Kensington Palace, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Foundation Louis Vuitton, Southbank Centre, Walt Disney Hall, Casa da Musica and Le Corum, and has appeared in festivals such as Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los Angeles, the Adelaide International Cello Festival in Australia, the International Cello Festival Shanghai, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, and International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove and performed with the Israel Camerata, Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, Saarbrucken Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Filharmonica Marchigiana, Orchestra of St Johns, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Lithuanian National Orchestra, IASI Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto and Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. Margarita is a regular guest artist for Scala Radio, BBC Radio 3 In-Tune, Classic FM and Latvian Radio 3.
Most recently Balanas was extended a personal invitation by Anne-Sophie Mutter to tour with the Mutter Virtuosi across South America. As well as this, Margarita performed at Joseph Calleja Gala Concert with Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Balanas has given cello masterclasses and workshops in London and North America.
Margarita regularly performs with her sister Kristine, and together they have performed across the globe, dazzling audiences with their virtuosic splendour. The sisters performed the Brahms Double Concerto at the Berliner Philharmonie and at Emergents Barcelona Music Festival with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, as well as Philip Glass Double Concerto at the International Cello Festival in Latvia. They toured France as part of the Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier and gave masterclasses and recitals at the Cayman Arts Festival. Adding to their prestige within the classical music industry, Kristīne and Margarita have been commended for their entrepreneurial insight and creativity within the greater arts community, having successfully explored their various gifts within the visual and performing arts. Balanas sisters were most recently appointed as an Honorary Patrons of BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation in recognition of their outstanding contribution.
Balanas has collaborated with such artists as Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lynn Harrell, Trevor Pinnock, Murray Perahia, Paul Daniel, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Peteris Vasks, Signum Saxophone Quartet and Carlos Izcaray.
Ms Balanas is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions, and is grateful to the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, the Drake Calleja Trust, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Craxton Memorial Trust, the Tillett Trust and the Hattori Foundation. Margarita was awarded the 2019-20 Bicentenary Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music.
Ms Balanas plays the Charles Adolphe Gand Auguste Tolbecque 1849 cello generously on loan to her by the Little Butterfly Foundation. Camille Saint-Saëns wrote his cello Concerto No. 1 for Tolbecque who premiered the concerto on this cello in 1873. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel commissioned a short documentary about the instrument and Margarita’s performance at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which was released and presented in 2018.