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 Viiolin 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.