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Alena Baeva

Violin

A protégée of Mstislav Rostropovich and Seiji Ozawa, Alena Baeva is fast emerging as one of the finest violinists of her generation.

Winner of the Grand Prix and other special prizes of the Wieniawski (2001), Moscow Paganini (2004) and Sendai (2007) international violin competitions, she has already carved out an impressive career to date and working regularly with many of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors – including, amongst others, Valery Gergiev, Paavo Järvi, and Vladimir Jurowski.

Alongside chamber music partnerships with such artists as Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, and Nikolai Lugansky, Baeva’s regular sonata partner is Vadym Kholodenko, with whom she has established a musical partnership of more than a decade.

Alena Baeva holds an already vast and rapidly expanding repertoire, including over forty violin concerti, and is a champion of lesser known works.  Her extensive discography reflects the impressive breadth of her repertoire.

Video

News

Alena Baeva debuts with RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Alena Baeva debuts with RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Alena Baeva’s long awaited debut with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will see her perform Schumann’s Violin Concerto conducted by John Wilson The concert will be broadcast live from the National Concert Hall, Dublin on 18 October from 19:30, preceded by a free pre-concert talk with Alena in conversation with John Wilson...

Alena Baeva returns to Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire

Alena Baeva returns to Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire

Following her fabulous debut with the ONPL in 2018, Alena Baeva will make a welcome return to France with five performances of Beethoven and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concertos in Angers, Nantes and Le Mans, between 26 September and 2 October 2019 The concerts will be conducted by Marzena Diakun    ...

Biography

A protégée of Mstislav Rostropovich and Seiji Ozawa, described as “a magnetic presence” and “a constantly fascinating sound technician” (New York Classical Review), Alena Baeva is fast emerging as one of the finest violinists of her generation.

Winner of the Grand Prix and other special prizes of the Wieniawski (2001), Moscow Paganini (2004) and Sendai (2007) international violin competitions, Baeva has already carved out an impressive career to date, and is working regularly with many of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors – including, amongst others, Teodor Currentzis, Valery Gergiev, Paavo Järvi, and Vladimir Jurowski.

Baeva’s 2018/2019 season saw such major debuts and career milestones as performing and recording with the London Philharmonic/Vladimir Jurowski at London’s Royal Festival Hall (Tchaikovsky), NHK Symphony/Paavo Järvi (R. Strauss), Netherlands Philharmonic/Karl-Heinz Steffens (Dvořák), musicÆterna/Teodor Currentzis (Tchaikovsky), and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Duncan Ward (Mendelssohn).

Highlights of the 2019/2020 season include Gürzenich-Orchester Köln/Robert Trevino (Berg), Orchestra Sinfónica Nazionale della RAI/Tomáš Netopil (R. Strauss), Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE/Pablo González (Britten), Russian National Orchestra/Mikhail Pletnev (Karłowicz), and Warsaw Philharmonic/Andrey Boreyko (Weinberg).  Baeva also undertakes two projects with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra – in Dublin (Schumann) and on tour in Italy (Brahms).  She also makes her Munich debut at the Philharmonie im Gasteig (Münchner Symphoniker/Elias Grandy), and her Vienna debut in the Musikverein (Tonkünstler-Orchester/Michał Nesterowicz).

Born in Russia to a musical family in 1985, Baeva took her first violin lessons at the age of five under renowned pedagogue Olga Danilova.  From 1995, she studied in Moscow with Professor Eduard Grach at the Central School of Music, and from 2002-2007 at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire.  In addition to her formal education, Baeva studied in France at the personal invitation of Mstislav Rostropovich in 2003, and began attending Seiji Ozawa’s Academy in Switzerland in 2007.  Aged 16, she won the Grand Prix at the 12th International Henryk Wieniawski Competition (2001), as well as the Prize for Best Performance of a Contemporary Work. Following this, she went on to take the Grand Prix at the Moscow International Niccolò Paganini Competition (2004), including a Special Prize allowing her to perform on the 1723 Wieniawski Stradivari for one year, and was also awarded both the Gold Medal and the Audience Prize at the Sendai International Violin Competition (2007).

Baeva holds an already vast and rapidly expanding repertoire, including over forty violin concerti, and is a champion of lesser known works – with recent performances promoting the concerti of such neglected composers as Bacewicz, Karaev, and Karłowicz, alongside more mainstream violin literature. Her extensive discography reflects the impressive breadth of her repertoire, with recordings spanning from Bruch and Shostakovich (Pentatone Classics), to Szymanowski (DUX), to Debussy, Poulenc, and Prokofiev (SIMC), and beyond.  Baeva’s Paris performance of Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.2 features as part of the Mariinsky Theatre/Valery Gergiev box-set DVD collection released by Arthaus Musik in 2015.  In 2018, she made a recording of the Karłowicz Violin Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (NIFC), and of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vladimir Jurowski, to be released on the LPO Live label.

In addition to the distinguished maestros listed above, Baeva’s conductor collaborations to date also include Vladimir Fedoseyev, Pablo Heras-Casado, Jacek Kaspszyk, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sakari Oramo, and Kazuki Yamada.  Her chamber music partnerships include such esteemed artists as Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Guy Braunstein, Natalie Clein, Steven Isserlis, Daishin Kashimoto, Nikolai Lugansky, Misha Maisky, Lawrence Power, Julian Steckel, and Yeol-Eum Son – and Baeva’s regular sonata partner is Vadym Kholodenko (2013 Van Cliburn Winner), with whom she has established a musical partnership of more than a decade.

Alena Baeva plays on the ex-William Kroll Guarneri del Gesù of 1738, on generous loan from an anonymous patron with the kind assistance of J&A Beares.

Reviews

The musical empathy between Baeva & Jurowski was evident, not just in tempos and moment-to-moment detail, but in the very character of the piece. There were muscularity and thrilling virtuosity aplenty, but there was also gentle, intimate playing, drawing the audience into passages with the emotional complexity of chamber music. […] In the second movement, Baeva became a delicate, distant voice, poetic and captivating. In the Finale she let rip – swaggering, heroic, and full of personality.
- The Strad
, 2019
Fine technique and imaginative phrasing…. In the Canzonetta, her beautiful violin tone and her lovely shaping of Tchaikovsky’s song-like melodies marked her out as an outstanding player, and her account of the Finale was not only strikingly virtuosic but had a compelling quality of joyous abandon.
- Seen and Heard International
, 2018
Everything about the performance seemed to get under the skin of this very familiar work, giving [the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto] more than a new lease of life. The first movement had poise and excitement in equal measure, with Alena Baeva demonstrating an exceptional evenness of tone across all the registers and an evident responsiveness to Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The brief slow movement was given the most sensitive account, hushed and romantic in the most tasteful manner. The finale was everything you’d want it to be, thrillingly fast and technically sure footed, as well as having a true heart in the gentler passages. So, this was an undoubtedly a top-notch performance, making this masterpiece sound even more like one of the composer’s greatest works.
- Bachtrack
 (★★★★★)
, 2018
Soloist Alena Baeva had a glowing tone, with which she held sensual command… she formed the sovereign centre of the enchanted world of Szymanowski.
- NRC Handelsblad
, 2018
Baeva was a magnetic presence, and the sound of her instrument, the fullness of tone, and her marvelously precise intonation were admirable and beautiful in and of themselves. Her strength and fire made the [Bacewicz] concerto sound like a masterpiece.
- New York Classical Review
 (Lincoln Center debut)
, 2017
Baeva & Kholodenko constitute a communicative and brilliant duo, always putting virtuosity at the service of the musical work…
- Freiburger Nachrichten
Baeva can sing with the violin – a constantly fascinating sound technician, with the highest rhythmic versatility.
- Badische Zeitung
, 2017
The same calibre as Janine Jansen – gripping musicality, warm, sensual, flawless, and accurate.
- Eindhovens Dagblad
, 2017
Star soloist Alena Baeva, whose dark beautiful tone and intense sound colours cause the violin to sing and to soar.
- Tidningen Kulturen
Besides her striking stage presence, Baeva makes more sense of this thorny score than anyone else I can recall… approachable emotionally despite the starkness typical of late Shostakovich.
- Fanfare magazine
 (Review of Mariinsky/Gergiev DVD)
, 2016
Baeva’s interpretation [of the Beethoven Concerto] gave it a new, enchanting glow.
- SLV Jogfors
, 2014
Alena Baeva, was an expressive, sparkling counterpoint…very fine interplay, with close and responsive cooperation. I have never heard this violin concerto played with such fine nuances.
- Norrköping Symfoniorkester
, 2014
Baeva is an excellent violinist and wholeheartedly embraces the complexities of Shostakovich and plays the 2nd Violin Concerto with ease and authority.
- Past Daily

Discography

Shostakovich: Complete Symphonies & Concertos
Released April 2015 on Arthaus

Conductor: Valery Gergiev
Orchestra and Chorus of the Mariinsky Theatre

Alena Baeva plays Shostakovich Violin Concerto No 2

Schubert
Released May 2013 on Sony Music Entertainment Germany Gm

Schubert: Streichquartett Nr. 14 d-moll, Erlkönig & Sonate a-Moll für Arpeggione und Klavier, D. 821
Soloist: Yuri Bashmet

Alena Baeva participated in the Erlkönig recording

Poulenc, Debussy and Prokofiev Sonatas
Released May 2009 on Sendai Cultual Foundation

Top of the 3rd Sendai International Music Competition

Poulenc: Sonata for Violin and Piano
Debussy: Sonata for Violin and Piano
Prokofiev: Sonata for Violin and Piano, No 1 in F minor, Op 80

Szymanowski Violin Concertos

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
Violin Concerto No. 1 Op. 35 (1916)
Violin Concerto No. 2 Op. 61 (1933)

Opole Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra / Bogusław Dawidow
Recorded at Opole Philharmonic Concert Hall, March 2007

“Alena Baeva is an impressive young violinist from Kazakhstan who gives here a brilliant and compelling performance of both Szymanowski violin concertos, with a Polish orchestra and on a Polish label.”
Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2008

Bartok and Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos

The 3rd Sendai International Music Competition

1-3 Bartok Violin Concerto No.2, Sz112
4-6 Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major, op.35

Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by YAMASHITA Kazufumi (1-3)
Conducted by Pascal VERROT (4-6)

Alena Baeva

The Russian National Orchestra, conducted by Paavo Berglund
Recorded at the studio VGTRK “Culture” (June 2005)