Known for her distinguished artistry and mesmerising stage presence, cellist Margarita Balanas has performed to audiences world-wide being hailed as “powerful, delicate, intense and brilliant” (GLAM Adelaide).
Since making her solo debut at Wigmore Hall at age 17, Margarita has performed for dignitaries and royalty, including HRH Prince Charles and at venues including Royal Festival Hall, Berliner Philharmonie, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Foundation Louis Vuitton, Southbank Centre, Walt Disney Hall.
Last season, together with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Mutter Virtuosi, Margarita toured South America. The young cellist was appointed as an Honorary Patron of BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation. Margarita has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the Camerata Jerusalem Israel, Das Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, Saarbrucken Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonietta Riga, Orchestra of St Johns, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and Deutsche Philharmonie Merck.
Margarita is a guest artist for Classic FM, Scala Radio, BBC Radio 3 In Tune, and has appeared in festivals including Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los Angeles, the Adelaide International Cello Festival in Australia, the International Cello Festival Shanghai, the Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany.
This season includes performances of the Brahms Double Concerto with her sister violinist Kristine Balanas and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra at L’Auditori in Barcelona, Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No.1 CD recording with Linn Records, as well as performances of Gulda, Kraft and Haydn cello concertos across Europe.
Together with her siblings, violinists Kristīne and Roberts, Margarita is the 2021 Artist-in Residence at Concert Hall ‘Cesis’. They gave their first ‘3 Balanas’ performance with Sinfonietta Riga and conductor Ben Palmer and performed in Peteris Vasks 75th Jubilee Concert with conductor Andris Poga and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. During the pandemic, 3 Balanas founded ‘Balanas Classical’, promoting classical music through innovative concerts, workshops and masterclasses. In December 2020, they held their first charity event for the young musicians in Latvia – ‘Balanas Sisters and Roche Christmas Charity Masterclasses’.
In Spring 2020, Margarita launched her first short-film ‘Pianissimo’ which was screened at ‘Peteris Vasks Festival’ and ‘International Cello Cesis Festival’. City Music Foundation Artist 2020, Margarita was the recipient of the prestigious Bicentenary Scholarship 2019-2020 at the Royal Academy of Music where she studied with Mats Lidström. Since 2014 her mentor was cellist Lynn Harrell.
Margarita is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions, and is grateful to the Drake Calleja Trust, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Craxton Memorial Trust, the Tillett Trust and the Hattori Foundation.
Margarita plays the Charles-Adolphe Gand ‘Auguste Tolbecque’ 1849 cello generously on loan 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 commissioned a short documentary about the instrument and Margarita’s performance at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.