2019 lunchtime recitals
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, L’Auditori in Barcelona, Walt Disney Hall.
Margarita has performed as a soloist with orchestras including Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Camerata Jerusalem Israel, Das Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, Saarbrucken Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonietta Riga, Orchestra of St Johns, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Clasica Santa Cecilia and Deutsche Philharmonie Merck 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.
Powerful, delicate, intense and brilliant… (GLAM Adelaide)
In 2020 the young cellist was appointed as an Honorary Patron of BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation. She toured across South America together with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Mutter Virtuosi, in 2023 they will be touring the U.S.
Margarita is a guest artist for Classic FM, Scala Radio, BBC Radio 3 In Tune. In December 2021, Margarita released her debut album of Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No.1 and other works with Linn Records which has since featured on some of the most exciting Apple Music playlists such as ‘Classical You Must Hear This Month’ , ‘Women in Classical Music’ and ‘The A-List Classical’.
This season includes performances with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra at L’Auditori in Barcelona, Orquestra Classic Santa Cecilia at Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra in Vilnius Concert Hall as well as performances of Gulda Cello Concerto at the International Cello Festival ‘Cesis’, Kraft Cello Concerto with Liepaja Symphony Orchestra amongst others.
Margarita was the 2021 Artist-in Residence at Concert Hall ‘Cesis’. Together with her siblings, violinists Kristine and Roberts, 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, and graduate with honours at the Royal Academy of Music, Margarita was the recipient of the prestigious Bicentenary Scholarship 2019-2020. Since 2014 she studied under Lynn Harrell and at the Royal Academy of Music with Mats Lidström.
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.