Bella Hristova, violin

Acclaimed for her passionate, powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument, violinist Bella Hristova is a young musician with a growing international career as a soloist and recording artist. Her talent has been recently recognized with a prestigious 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant, awarded to outstanding instrumentalists. The Strad has praised, “Every sound she draws is superb” and the Washington Post’s The Classical Beat has stated she is “a player of impressive power and control.”

Following summer engagements at music festivals including Mainly Mozart, Chesapeake Chamber, Cactus Pear, Summer Stars Chamber, Brevard, and Skaneateles, Ms. Hristova’s 2013-2014 season features a mix of solo, recital and chamber music performances among them performances of concertos by Korngold, Vivaldi, Prokofiev, Saint-Saí«ns, Brahms, Barber, Beethoven and Bruch. Engagements of note include Bella leading/performing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic; performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; a national tour with the Musicians from Marlboro; a solo violin recital at Vermont’s  Brattleboro Music Center; a Carnegie Hall performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E, Op. 64 with the New York String Orchestra on Christmas Eve, and two world premieres written specifically for her: David Ludwig’s concerto with the Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra, and  Anthony Richie’s violin concerto with New Zealand’s Southern Sinfonia. North American appearances also include orchestral engagements with the symphony orchestras of Amarillo, Bakersfield, Des Moines, Edmonton (Canada), Meridian, Southwest Michigan, Westmoreland, and the InterSchool Orchestra of New York, as well as recitals with theTuesday Musical Club, Music for Youth, Buffalo Chamber Music Society, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Arts Council of Moore County.  Abroad, Ms. Hristova also appears with New Zealand’s Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

Recent highlights include the 2013 spring release of her newest recording, Bella Unaccompanied, (A.W. Tonegold Records) a CD of works for solo violin, featuring John Corigliano’s The Red Violin Caprices, Kevin Puts’s Arches, Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Etudes, Nathan Milstein’s Paganiniana Variations and the mighty Partita No. 2 in D, by J. S. Bach.  Concerto appearances included performances with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, at the Young Concert Artists Gala Concert at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, with the Mississippi Symphony, City of London Sinfonia, Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, New Zealand’s Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, and with Korea’s Cheongju Symphony Orchestra.

A sought after chamber musician, Ms. Hristova has frequently performed chamber music with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at the Young Concert Artists Festival Week in Tokyo, at The Grand Teton Festival, Music@Menlo, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Music from Angel Fire, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Marlboro Music Festival.

Bella Hristova has been honored with many awards, including First Prize in the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, First Prize of the 2007 Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, and Laureate of the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. She made her debut in the Young Concert Artists Series at Merkin Concert Hall in New York sponsored by YC A’s Rhoda Walker Teagle Prize, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and at the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston. Ms. Hristova is recipient of the Harriet and Gordon Greenfield Foundation Fellowship, was awarded the 2009 Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship, and has been honored with the Miriam Brody Aronson Award, the Ruth Laredo Memorial Award, and the Mortimer Levitt Career Development Award for Women Artists. Ms. Hristova currently holds the John French Violin Chair of YCA.

After winning the Michael Hill International Violin Competition,  Ms. Hristova made a  critically acclaimed concert tour of New Zealand, and a similarly acclaimed CD of solo violin works by the Belgian virtuoso Charles de Bériot (Naxos). Gramophone praised her first recording: “The brilliant passages come easily to her, … with an elegance that perfectly suits the music. … she’s an admirable advocate for Bériot.”  And Music Web International stated: “…this disc is an absolute winner… …The musical diversity across the thirty eight minutes of these pieces [12 Scènes ou Caprices pour le violon Op. 109] is a delight.  None of which would count for much if they were not played with the extraordinary virtuosity and musical maturity of Bella Hristova. … Hristova combines jaw-dropping technical prowess with real style.”

Born in Pleven, Bulgaria in 1985, Ms. Hristova began violin studies at the age of six. At twelve, she participated in master classes with Ruggiero Ricci at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 2003, she entered The Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with Ida Kavafian (an alumna of YCA), and studied chamber music with Steven Tenenbom.  She received her Artist Diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University in 2010. Ms. Hristova plays a 1655 Nicolí² Amati violin, once owned by the violinist Louis Krasner.

[Surname is pronounced: h'REE-stoh-va]