About Bella

“A player of impressive power and control...she brought the audience to its feet.”

– Washington Post
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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 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and is a Laureate of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.

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, and Milwaukee Symphonies as well as orchestras in Asia, Europe, Latin America and New Zealand. Highlights of the 23-24 season include performances of the Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto with Charleston Symphony and Eugene Philharmonic, Barber Concerto with Orlando Philharmonic, Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and Prokofiev 2nd Concerto with New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. 

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 Tonegold Records, features works by John Corigliano, Kevin Puts, Astor Piazzolla, Nathan Milstein, and J S 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 also recently released the complete Brahms sonatas. 

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 four beloved (but poorly behaved) cats.