#MiddayMusic presents Margarita Balanas (cello) and Artur Haftman (piano)

This week our Young Artists Margarita Balanas (cello) and Artur Haftman (piano) performed for #MiddayMusic. You can read our exclusive interviews with them and watch their videos below. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to catch all our upcoming videos, or watch our exclusive playlist.

Next week you can look forward to performances from Steven McIntyre (Organ) on Monday, and Kinga Wojdalska (Viola) on Wednesday, both at midday.

Artur Haftman – Sharing his love of music with the world

Multi-award winning pianist, Artur Haftman, is the 2019 recipient of the Carnwath Piano Scholarship. A concert pianist who regularly performs across Europe, and will soon embark on a China tour, Artur has more recently been sharing his love of music to online audiences around the world.

“I am currently working as Artistic Director at the Szczecin International Music Academy – SIMA Classics.  My colleagues and I created the Academy this year and we were supposed to arrange the SIMA Masterclass in person at the Szczecin Arts Academy, but due to COVID-19, we had to move it online this year.  The Academy helps young talented artists benefit from top-tier mentoring from world-renowned piano professors. Recent contributors include Dmitri Alexeev, Dina Yoffe, Vanessa Latarche and Piotr Paleczny. Our aim is to construct a tight-knit community of exceptionally-gifted artists where mentors and mentees can work together.

In November, I’m looking forward to getting back on the stage with a concert in Berlin and a tour in Poland. I also have a grand tour of 15 different cities in China, which has been rescheduled from February.  For my #middaymusic piece I chose Chopin’s Nocturne in F sharp major Op. 15, No. 2 and Valse Brillante in A flat major Op. 34, No. 1.  Chopin is my role model, and the reason I started playing the piano at the age of seven. I fell in love with his pieces and musicality and he always has a special place in my heart. I chose these pieces to commemorate his 210th birthday and to share my love for Chopin with everyone.”

You can find out more about Arthur at arturhaftman.com and on the Musicians’ Company Young Artists page.


Margarita Balanas: Power of Music in Uncertain Times

Margarita Balanas is a Latvian cellist based in London. A 2017 Concordia and 2017 RAM Silver Medal award winner, Margarita believes music offers hope, peace and love in unpredictable times.

“Music has always been important to me. I grew up singing rock ’n’ roll with my family, before moving to London to study at the age of 15. I made my solo debut at Wigmore Hall at the age of 17. Since then, I have performed to audiences including dignitaries and royalty at venues such as Royal Festival Hall, Berliner Philharmonie, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Foundation Louis Vuitton, Southbank Centre, Walt Disney Hall, Casa da Musica and Le Corum.”

Margarita also performs at festivals and in orchestras, often with her violinist sister, Kristine. “Together we have performed the Brahms Double Concerto at the Berliner Philharmonie and at Emergents Barcelona Music Festival with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, as well as Philip Glass’s Double Concerto at the International Cello Festival in Latvia amongst others. We are also Honorary Patrons of BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation. My sister Kristīne, brother Roberts (both violinists) and I are also regular guest artists for Scala Radio, BBC Radio 3 – In Tune, Classic FM and Latvian Radio 3.”

For Margarita’s #MiddayMusic choice she performs Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro with Daria Tudor. “1849 was a very productive year for Schumann as he not only composed the largest amount of compositions but an extremely rich variety of works. Adagio and Allegro was originally written for the horn, though it is often performed on the cello, viola or the violin. Schumann composed Adagio and Allegro in 1849, the exact year the cello on which I will perform it for you was made by Charles Adolphe Gand in France. Schumann is one of my favourite composers. His music is rich and complex in emotions yet it can be very simple. His music is a reflection of life and always tells a story. I hope that I can take you on this journey with me!”

You can find out more about Margarita on the Musicians’ Company Young Artists page and at margaritabalanas.com