Praised as “revelatory” (The Telegraph) and playing with “verve, style, attitude and impeccable virtuosity” (ZealNYC), Ksenija Sidorova is the world’s undisputed leading ambassador for the classical  accordion. Ksenija’s charismatic performances showcase not only her instrument’s unique  capabilities, but also her own intense passion and breathtaking skill. Her repertoire spans over three  centuries from J.S. Bach to Václav Trojan. She has championed concertos by Astor Piazolla and  Erkki-Sven Tüür around the world – the latter often in collaboration with Paavo Järvi.  

Photo: JLA

A passionate advocate of new music, several accordion works have been composed especially for  her. Already in January 2023, Ksenija has released the first recording of Arturs Maskats’ accordion  concerto with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and Andris Poga, described as “wonderful  and evocative” (Gramophone). She begins this season by giving the world premiere of Chaconne by  Sergei Akhunov with both Riga Sinfonietta and London Chamber Orchestra acting as co commissioners. Estonian composer Tõnu Kõrvits is also writing a new concerto for her to be  premiered with Paavo Järvi and his Estonian Festival Orchestra at Parnu Festival in summer 2024.  

This season, she returns to Münchner Philharmoniker and will make her debut with Orchestra della  Svizzera Italiana, Istanbul State Symphony, Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra, and Collegium  Musicum Basel. Recent highlights include Le Concert de Paris with Orchestre National de France and  the Last Night of the Proms with BBC Symphony Orchestra where she was “the indisputable highlight  of the evening” (BBC News). She performs regularly with Tonhalle Orchester-Zürich, Liverpool  Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Orchestre National d’Ile de France, Orchestre  Philharmonique du Luxembourg and Stuttgarter Philharmoniker. She maintains long-standing working  relationships with eminent conductors such as Paavo Järvi, Thomas Hengelbrock and Vasily  Petrenko, and also with Krzysztof Urbański, Christian Reif and Nil Venditti.  

In chamber music this season, she starts original collaborations with artistic colleagues: a beautifully  crafted programme ‘Anima’ with Signum Saxophone Quartet and a special project with baritone  Benjamin Appl. Last season, Ksenija and longtime friend, mandolinist Avi Avital, celebrated their 10- year anniversary of playing together at the Wigmore Hall, and they tour this season across Germany  and Belgium. Her other chamber partners include Nemanja Radulović, Andreas Ottensamer,  Goldmund Quartet, Camille Thomas, Tine Thing Helseth, Juan Diego Flórez and Nicola Benedetti.  Ksenija is a staple guest performer at the Ravinia, Cheltenham, Mostly Mozart, Schleswig-Holstein,  Gstaad Menuhin, MITO, Verbier and Rheingau music festivals.  

Photo: JLA

Her album Piazzolla Reflections (Alpha), released in 2021, has been acclaimed as “brilliantly played  [and] beautifully recorded” (Gramophone), numbered among the best new classical albums of the  year (Classic Review), and was named BR Klassik’s album of the month. This follows previous  successful releases: Classical Accordion (Champs Hill Records, 2011); Fairy Tales (Champs Hill  Records, 2013) recorded with BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Rundel; and Carmen (Deutsche  Grammophon, 2016) for which she won the ECHO prize for Instrumentalist of the Year in 2017.  

Encouraged by her grandmother, herself steeped in the folk tradition of accordion playing, Ksenija  started to play the instrument at the age of six under the guidance of Marija Gasele in her hometown  of Riga. Her unfettered interest in classical and contemporary repertoire took her to the Royal  Academy of Music, London, where she became a prize-winning undergraduate and postgraduate  studying under Owen Murray. In May 2012, she became the first International Award winner of the  Bryn Terfel Foundation and appeared at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2015 as part of his 50th  birthday celebrations, alongside Sting. She is a recipient of Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Musical Scholarship and Friends of the Philharmonia Award, as well as  the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal. Ksenija has  been an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music since 2016, was made a Fellow (FRAM) in 2021  and was appointed Visiting Professor of Classical Accordion to start in September 2023.