Violinist Kristine Balanas started playing violin in Dobele, Latvia aged seven, with Olita Meldere. She was later invited to study with Romans Šnē at the Emīls Dārziņš Specialist Music School. She has performed as a soloist with such orchestras as the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, the London Philharmonic, the Sendai Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, EUYO Symphony Orchestra, Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonietta Riga and Latvian National Orchestra, a particular highlight being her performance at the Barbican Centre with the Moscow Soloists under Yuri Bashmet.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Balanas has collaborated with acclaimed musicians Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Gluzman and is being regularly advised by Leonidas Kavakos, Vadim Repin, Shlomo Mintz and Kolja Blacher. A restless advocate of contemporary and lesser known music, Ms. Balanas has given the UK premiere of Miecyslaw Weinberg’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra and the Romanian premiere of Pēteris Vasks ‘Distant Light’. Ms. Balanas has received numerous awards in several international competitions, most notably First Prize in addition to the ‘Virtuoso Prize’ in the 12th International Violin competition in Kloster Schöntal and the 30th International Violin Competition Rodolfo Lipizer in 2011, alongside a special prize for the best interpretation of a 20th-century violin concerto. Kristine performs on a 1787 Antonio Gragnani violin, kindly on loan by the Beares International Violin Society.