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Bella Hristova

Bella Hristova, violin
Bulgarian-born violinist Bella Hristova combines a storyteller’s approach to programming with a
staggeringly broad repertoire that ranges from core to contemporary, including numerous works that she herself has commissioned. Praised for her “expressive nuance and a rich tone” (New York Times) and “impressive power and control” (Washington Post), Hristova is the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and numerous awards including First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and First Prize in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition.
During the 2021-2022 season, Hristova has been invited to perform with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Mobile Symphony, Artis Naples, Auburn Symphony, Bellingham Symphony Orchestra, Spokane Symphony, Symphony Tacoma, Harrisburg Symphony and the Salisbury Symphony. She also has invitations to appear with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Ocean Reef Music Festival and the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival.
In past seasons, Hristova has performed extensively as a soloist with orchestras including the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and the Fort Worth , Kansas City, Hawaii, Milwaukee and Winnipeg Symphonies.
She has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston and regularly appears with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She has toured New Zealand, performing the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin with renowned pianist Michael Houstoun, and their four-disc recording of the sonatas was named a Best Classical Album of 2019 by the New Zealand Listener.
A tireless champion of new music, Hristova most recently commissioned Japanese-Zimbabwean composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama to write Miasma for unaccompanied violin which she premiered in 2021. She also commissioned iconic American composer Joan Tower to write Second String Force which she premiered and has performed throughout the United States. “Bella Unaccompanied,” an album released on A.W. Tonegold Records, features works by Corigliano, Puts, Piazzolla, Milstein and Bach. In 2014, a consortium of eight major orchestras across the U.S. commissioned Hristova’s husband, David Serkin Ludwig, to write a violin concerto for her in celebration of their marriage.
Hristova began violin studies at the age of six in her native Bulgaria. She then 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 and their four cats.

Photo of Bella Hristova by Lisa Marie Mazzucco
Banner photo by Susan and Neil Silverman Photography

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