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, Valery Gergiev, Paavo Järvi, and Vladimir Jurowski.
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), to name but a few.
Born in Russia in 1985 to a musical family, Baeva took her first violin lessons at the age of five under renowned pedagogue Olga Danilova in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan. From 1995 she studied with Professor Eduard Grach at the Central School of Music, Moscow, 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, Baeva won the Grand Prix at the 12th International Henryk Wieniawski Competition (2001), as well as the Prize for Best Performance of a Contemporary Work. 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).
Amongst the conductors with whom she now works regularly, Alena Baeva has long-standing collaborations with Valery Gergiev and Vladimir Jurowski. Her performance of Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.2 features as part of the Mariinsky Theatre/Gergiev box-set DVD collection released by Arthaus Musik in 2015; and – following their work together in Moscow – Baeva and Jurowski come together again for her debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in December 2018. The 2018/2019 season will also see Alena Baeva make her debut with the NHK Symphony Orchestra & Paavo Järvi, in Tokyo, in subscription concerts televised nationally throughout Japan.
Other conductor collaborations to date include Vladimir Fedoseyev, Pablo Heras-Casado, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sakari Oramo, and Kazuki Yamada, and chamber music partnerships have featured such esteemed musicians as Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Steven Isserlis, Nikolai Lugansky, and Misha Maisky. Baeva’s regular sonata partner is 2013 Van Cliburn Winner Vadym Kholodenko, with whom she has established a musical partnership of more than a decade.
Recent and forthcoming concerto highlights include Düsseldorf Symphony/Alexander Bloch, London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vladimir Jurowski, Netherlands Philharmonic/Karl-Heinz Steffens, NHK Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Grzegorz Nowak, and Tonkünstler Orchester/Michał Nesterowicz. Baeva enjoys a particularly strong profile in Russia, working regularly with the leading orchestras, including Mariinsky Orchestra, MusicaÆterna, the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia ‘Evgeny Svetlanov’ (GASO), and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, amongst others.
Alena Baeva plays on the ex-William Kroll Guarneri del Gesù of 1738, on generous loan from an anonymous patron with kind assistance of J&A Beares.