• Born 1981
Often appears with
Violinist Baiba Skride parlayed prominent competition wins early in her career into international concert prominence. She is also a noted chamber music player.
Skride was born in the Latvian capital of Riga on February 19, 1981. She grew up in a musical family; she, along with sisters Lauma (piano) and Linda (viola), took their first music lessons from their grandmother and have continued to perform together. Skride's mother was a pianist, and her father was a choral conductor. By age five, Skride was concertizing on the violin. She enrolled in 1995 in a school for musically talented youngsters in Riga and then in the Rostock Conservatory in Germany, commuting for a time between the two cities. In Rostock, her teacher was Petru Munteanu. Skride also took master classes with Ruggiero Ricci and Lewis Kaplan. Her record of competition prizes, which dated back to a youth event in Bulgaria in 1988, culminated in a win at the 2001 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition in Brussels. That led to concerto appearances with top orchestras all over Europe, North America, and Asia, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Tokyo Philharmonic. As a chamber musician, she has been joined by cellists Sol Gabetta and Alban Gerhardt, and harpist Xavier de Maistre, among many others. For a time, Skride performed on the 1734 "Ex Baron Feilitzsch" Stradivarius, owned by violinist Gidon Kremer.
Skride has been a prolific recording artist. In her early 20s, she was signed to the Sony Classical label, replacing Hilary Hahn on its roster when the latter moved to Deutsche Grammophon. Two of her Sony albums won the prestigious Echo Klassik awards in Germany. After her 2008 album Souvenir Russe, she signed with the Orfeo label, where she has continued to issue new albums almost annually. She has focused mostly on standard repertory but was featured on a recording of composer Heino Eller's violin concerto on Ondine in 2018; that year, she also issued a recording of violin concertos by Bernstein, Korngold, and Miklos Rósza. In 2020, Skride released a new recording of Mozart's five violin concertos with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra under conductor Eivind Aadland, featuring new cadenzas by Skride herself.