Margarita BALANAS - Latvia
23 years old. Latvian, lives in London (UK)
Latvian cellist Margarita Balanas made her debut at Wigmore Hall at the age of 17 and has since appeared in most of the major concert halls across the UK and Europe.
Recent performances include a debut recital at the Royal Festival Hall with pianist Vassilis Varvaresos, participation in the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival 2016 in Los Angeles and a performance of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto and Carlos Izcaray at Casa da Música, Portugal. She has collaborated with Trevor Pinnock, Murray Perahia, Paul Daniel, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and has performed in masterclasses with Lynn Harrell, Ralph Kirshbaum, Steven Isserlis, Natalia Gutman, Frans Helmerson and Mischa Maisky.
She is a recording artist for ABRSM as well as being an active chamber musician, having appeared in International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove, French Chamber Music Festival, Roman River Music Festival, Adelaide International Cello Festival, Minoa Palace Chamber Music Festival and Aurora Chamber Music Festival. She regularly performs with her sister violinist Kristine Balanas. In summer 2015 she toured Finland with the contemporary ensemble ÄÄninen.
Margarita began her musical studies at age six with Arvids Tareila and Maris Villeruss at Emils Darzins School of Music in Riga, Latvia, before studying at the Purcell School of Music with Alexander Boyarsky. Margarita was awarded the ABRSM Scholarship, Zara Nelsova Award and Martin Music Scholarship Fund Award to undertake her undergraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music where since 2013 she studies under Mats Lidström. In 2016 Margarita was awarded the Drake Calleja Trust Scholarship.