Alena took her first violin lessons at the age of five under renowned pedagogue Olga Danilova, before moving to Moscow at the age of 10 to study with Professor Eduard Grach at the Central School of Music and the State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire.

She won the Grand Prix at the 12th International Henryk Wieniawski Competition (2001), as well as the Prize for the Best Performance of a Contemporary Work.

She lives in Luxembourg with her husband (pianist and Van Cliburn Competition gold medallist Vadym Kholodenko) and three children and plays on the “ex-William Kroll” Guarneri del Gesù of 1738 violin – on generous loan from an anonymous patron, with the kind assistance of J&A Beares.

Violinist Alena Baeva sits with her violin

Alena Baeva (C) Andrej Grilc

Alena can’t remember childhood without the violin. In an interview with The Irish Times she said, “When I practise, it’s a kind of meditation, I would say. I observe it now. Because I didn’t know these terms when I was a child, obviously.”

Holding an extraordinary memory and passionate musical curiosity, she has memorised over fifty violin concerti. She’s also a champion of lesser-known works alongside the more mainstream violin literature.

If she wasn’t a violinist she wanted to become a doctor, surgeon or nurse as she is fascinated by everything healthcare, and during lockdown (when unable to play music professionally) considered retraining as a nurse or doctor!

Alena performs Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor in her first concert as BSO Artist-in-Residence (27 & 28 Nov). She also performs Berg’s Violin Concerto on (22, 23 & 25 Jan). Her final concert of the season is a recital shared with her duo partner Vadym Kholodenko, with a programme including music by Schubert and Richard Strauss (30 Apr).