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. The Strad has praised, “Every sound she draws is superb,” and The Washington Post noted that she is “a player of impressive power and control.” Ms. Hristova’s 2017-2018 season features her characteristically rich and wide ranging musical life. She will perform and record Beethoven’s 10 Sonatas for Piano and Violin in a nation-wide recital tour presented by Chamber Music New Zealand, with acclaimed pianist Michael Houstoun. Ms. Hristova also performs standard concerto repertoire and those by American composers Lukas Foss, Samuel Barber, and David Ludwig, appearing with the Chautauqua, Austin, and Milwaukee symphonies, among others. As part of her busy and varied career, she performs recitals and chamber music throughout the U.S.
Ms. Hristova has performed extensively as soloist with orchestra including with Pinchas Zukerman and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, with the New York String Orchestra under Jaime Laredo at Carnegie Hall, as well as with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pasadena, Charleston, Asheville, Greenwich, Vermont, Kansas City, Delaware, Columbus symphonies and Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río, Asturias Symphony Orchestra, Centro Nacional de la Música-la Orquesta, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Korea’s Cheongju Symphony Orchestra. She has performed recitals at Merkin Concert Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston, the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Alys Stephens Center for the Performing Arts, Free For All at Town Hall, the Shanghai International Music Festival, and Seoul National University. Her recording, Bella Unaccompanied (A.W. Tonegold Records), features works for solo violin by Corigliano, Kevin Puts, Piazzolla, Milstein, and J. S. Bach. A proponent of new music and composers, Ms. Hristova commissioned iconic American composer, Joan Tower, to compose “Second String Force” for Unaccompanied Violin, in 2015, which she premiered and performed in recitals throughout the US and abroad.
A sought-after chamber musician, Ms. Hristova performs frequently with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at many music festivals including the Young Concert Artists Festivals in Tokyo and Beijing, the Musica Viva Festival in Sydney, Australia, the Grand Teton Festival, the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Lake Tahoe Summerfest, Lake Champlain Music Festival, the Brevard Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Music from Angel Fire, Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. She has appeared on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion on National Public Radio.
Bella Hristova is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant, First Prize in the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, First Prize in the 2007 Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, and Laureate of the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. She was awarded YCA’s Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship, the Mortimer Levitt Career Development Award for Women Artists, and the Gordon and Harriet Greenfield Foundation Artist Management Fellowship of YCA.
As a result of 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). Music Web International praised her first recording, “…this disc is an absolute winner… …The musical diversity of these pieces 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 to Russian and Bulgarian parents, 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 (YCA Alumna) 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 Nicolò Amati violin, once owned by the violinist Louis Krasner.