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In an effort to win acceptance for the accordion as a classical instrument, accordionist Ksenija Sidorova has sought to broaden its repertory and has collaborated with a wide variety of classical ensembles.
Sidorova was born in the Latvian capital of Riga on May 18, 1988. Sidorova's grandmother was an amateur musician with a strong interest in folk music, and she encouraged Sidorova to take up music. Sidorova began playing the accordion at the age of eight, and her first teacher was Marija Gasele. Sidorova earned a master's degree with honors at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with Owen Murray. Sidorova won the Royal Academy of Music Wigmore Award in early 2009, and in May of that year, she made her debut at London's Wigmore Hall. She made a splash in that year's Park Lane concert series as well. Sidorova went on tour and made appearances around Europe and the U.S., as well as in the Baltics. One breakthrough moment was a 2013 appearance on the German television program Stars von Morgen with host Rolando Villazón, and she made other television appearances in Britain, France, and Germany. These led to a Night of the Proms appearance in 2014 and an Israeli tour in 2015. Sidorova has appeared with such groups as the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Trondheim Soloists, and the Sinfonietta Riga, and she has collaborated with the Sacconi and Belcea Quartets. Her repertory runs back to Bach and Mozart but is focused on contemporary music, lesser-known Eastern European music, and tango; she also plays popular music on occasion.
Sidorova made her recording debut in 2011 with Classical Accordion, released on the Champs Hill label, and followed it up two years later with Fairy Tales. Her 2016 album Carmen, an adaptation of the Bizet opera, appeared on Deutsche Grammophon. Sidorova returned in 2021 with Piazzolla Reflections, a recital featuring the music of classical-tango fusion master Astor Piazzolla as well as other composers.