Bella Hristova

Bulgarian-American violinist Bella Hristova has won international acclaim for her “expressive nuance and rich tone” (New York Times) and impressive power and control” (Washington Post). She has distinguished herself on the world stage as a performing artist with a remarkably diverse repertoire and bold approach to programming. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, she has won numerous awards including First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, First Prize in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, and is a Laureate of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.

Highlights of the 22-23 season include performances of the Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto with New Bedford and Santa Rosa Symphonies, Korngold concerto with Anchorage and Charlotte Symphonies, Prokofiev 1st with Columbus Symphony and Bruch Scottish Fantasy with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. In past seasons Hristova has performed extensively as a soloist with orchestras around the country, including the Buffalo Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, the Hawaii, Kansas City, Knoxville, and Milwaukee Symphonies as well as orchestras in Asia, Europe, Latin America and New Zealand.

In addition to her many appearances with orchestras, Hristova performs frequently with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and has held residencies at top conservatory and summer music festival programs as a recitalist. She has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Boston’s Isabella Gardner Museum.

A champion of music by living composers, Hristova recently commissioned and premiered Japanese-Zimbabwean composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama’s “Miasma” for unaccompanied violin. She also commissioned the iconic American composer Joan Tower to write “Second String Force” which she premiered and frequently performs in recital appearances. In 2015, Hristova was the featured soloist for a consortium of eight major orchestras for a new concerto commission written for her by her husband, acclaimed composer David Serkin Ludwig.

As a recording artist, Hristova has released a variety of albums reflecting her broad musical interests. “Bella Unaccompanied,” an album released on A.W. Tonegold Records, features works by John Corigliano, Kevin Puts, Piazzolla, Milstein, and Bach. Her Naxos debut album features the solo violin works of Belgian composer Charles de Beriot. Following multiple tours of New Zealand with renowned pianist Michael Houstoun, she and Houstoun recorded the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin, named a “Best Classical Album of 2019” by the New Zealand Listener, released on RATTLE. The duo will release the complete Brahms sonatas next year. 

Hristova began violin studies at the age of six in her native Bulgaria. After gaining accolades following master classes in Salzburg with Ruggiero Ricci, she studied with Ida Kavafian at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and received her Artist Diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University. Hristova plays a 1655 Nicolò Amati violin, once owned by the violinist Louis Krasner. She lives in New York City, with her husband David and their beloved (but poorly behaved) cats.