Ksenija Sidorova
Accordion

“The silver lining was Ksenija Sidorova ... for she has the ability to steal a musical heart” (The Telegraph)

Contacts

Tuğçe Tez +44 (0)20 3725 9148
Alice O'Reilly +44 (0)20 3725 9103

Biography

Praised as “superbly subtle and virtuosic” (The Arts Desk) and “an amazingly accomplished artist” (Classical Source), Ksenija Sidorova is the leading ambassador for the accordion.

Encouraged to take up the instrument by a grandmother steeped in the folk tradition of accordion playing, Ksenija started to play the instrument aged eight under the guidance of Marija Gasele in her hometown of Riga. Her quest for more exposure to both classical and contemporary repertoire took her to London where she became a prize-winning undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music.

Praised as “superbly subtle and virtuosic” (The Arts Desk) and “an amazingly accomplished artist” (Classical Source), Ksenija Sidorova is the leading ambassador for the accordion.

Encouraged to take up the instrument by a grandmother steeped in the folk tradition of accordion playing, Ksenija started to play the instrument aged eight under the guidance of Marija Gasele in her hometown of Riga. Her quest for more exposure to both classical and contemporary repertoire took her to London where she became a prize-winning undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music.

In the 2016/17 season Ksenija will perform with orchestras such as NHK Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, MDR Sinfonieorchester, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Kremerata Baltica and tour with the Estonian Festival Orchestra under the baton of Paavo Järvi. 

Ksenija’s first album, Carmen, was released on Deutsche Grammophon in summer 2016. Following the huge success at the Jurmala (Latvia) and Ravinia Festivals (USA), Ksenija will perform her Carmen project in Munich (Prinzregententheater) and Berlin (Kammermusiksaal at Berliner Philharmonie) in March 2017.

In September 2016 she makes her debut at the Vancouver Recital Series and continues her recitals across Europe throughout the rest of the season. She has performed at Cheltenham, Verbier, and Bad Kissingen Festivals and will make her debut at the Rheingau Festival in August 2017.

Ksenija regularly collaborates with Miloš Karadaglić, Juan Diego Flórez, Nicola Benedetti, Thomas Gould, Avi Avital, Andreas Ottensamer and Joseph Calleja. 

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Contacts

Tuğçe Tez +44 (0)20 3725 9148
Alice O'Reilly +44 (0)20 3725 9103

Reviews

“The boldness of Sidorova's concept, the thoroughness with which she and her colleagues deconstructed the original and the flights of improvisation that peppered the performance made this a singular experience. ... It was the musicianship of her playing that left the deepest impression during her Ravinia debut. ... The way Sidorova shaped her phrases, toyed with her tempos and shaded her tone colors made even the most understated gestures satisfying to hear. ... In all, a tour de force of imagination, instrumentation and improvisation.” [Carmen recording] (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, August 2016)

“..Benedetti is joined by star accordionist Ksenija Sidorova in a show-stopping performance which will have you on your feet! The warm acoustic of the Decca recording comes in appropriate widescreen sound.” (Gramophone Magazine)

“The boldness of Sidorova's concept, the thoroughness with which she and her colleagues deconstructed the original and the flights of improvisation that peppered the performance made this a singular experience. ... It was the musicianship of her playing that left the deepest impression during her Ravinia debut. ... The way Sidorova shaped her phrases, toyed with her tempos and shaded her tone colors made even the most understated gestures satisfying to hear. ... In all, a tour de force of imagination, instrumentation and improvisation.” [Carmen recording] (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, August 2016)

“..Benedetti is joined by star accordionist Ksenija Sidorova in a show-stopping performance which will have you on your feet! The warm acoustic of the Decca recording comes in appropriate widescreen sound.” (Gramophone Magazine)

“...  the glorious Latvian accordion player Ksenija Sidorova and the versatile Thomas Gould, whose violin playing reaches the parts few others do, gave a short recital at the intimate 1901 Arts Club, near London's Waterloo station. Works ranging from Bach to Schnittke demonstrated the exotic colours of both instruments, which sounded at their Gypsy-like best in Bartók's Romanian folk dances and Monti's Csárdás. Piazzolla's Café 1930, from Histoire du Tango, had a luxuriant, sexy melancholy. Gould and Sidorova, sparks flying, introduced each piece. The audience chuckled and cheered in response. This is the second time this year I have raved about a squeezebox player after a lifetime's silence on the entire topic. Something is stirring in the bellows-driven, free-reed aerophone undergrowth. Simplest formats are the most revealing, starting with Orpheus and his lyre. These two young musicians showed what they can do, and what can be done, with their instruments. In so doing, they repurified our cluttered world of ordered sound.” (Fiona Maddocks, The Observer)

“The silver lining was Ksenija Sidorova [...], for she has the ability to steal a musical heart.” (The Telegraph)

“Before you say a word, Latvia's Ksenija Sidorova takes them out of your mouth: "It will be a while before the phrase 'I play the classical accordion' doesn't sound unusual or funny." Her determination to extend the instrument's reputation from its folk roots is formidable. She studied at London's Royal Academy of Music and has won numerous prizes. You can see why. Technique and phrasing in Mozart's 12 Variations on "Ah, vous dirais-je, Maman" are subtle and witty. Her chosen repertoire embraces Nordheim, Bach, Berio, Scarlatti, Schnittke, Takahashi and (with the Sacconi Quartet) some smokily beguiling Piazzolla, all played with light, shade, delicacy – and breathtaking virtuosity.” (Fiona Maddocks, The Observer)

“Scarlatti and Mozart are played with delicacy and grace. Modern accordion classics by Arne Nordheim and Berio get atmospheric outings: Berio’s Sequenza XIII emerges as a masterpiece of suppressed emotion. Schnittke’s sardonic reworkings of Mozart and Tchaikovsky are superbly delivered.” (The Times)

“The accordion’s sound world is characterful but somewhat constrained. It needs a virtuoso such as the young Latvian Sidorova to show just how flexible the instrument can be...In transcriptions of Bach, Scarlatti and Mozart, Sidorova is simply brilliant and staggeringly precise.” (The Sunday Times)

“Sidorova here demonstrates the remarkable potential of the accordion, not an instrument generally appreciated in classical circles...[The Bach] is fascinating, with Sidorova making the accordion sound like a miniature organ...An attractive and unusual disc.” (Awards Issue, Gramophone Magazine) 

“Anybody disinclined to take the accordion seriously as a classical instrument should listen to the opening track here...[the Nordheim and Berio] are advertisements for the accordion's expressive potential, mining its virtuosic possibilities...a debut recording full of panache and communicative musicianship.” (BBC Music Magazine)

Discography