Cellist Nina Kotova has been hailed charismatic and inspiring. According to Newsweek magazine, “she‘s a fantastically gifted cellist.” “.. and she has a powerful stage presence.” Time magazine states: “She is a musician of high seriousness and real talent”.
Ms. Kotova has been internationally recognized as one of the outstanding instrumentalists of her generation. She has performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras across the globe and has repeatedly toured in UK, Japan and US. She has appeared with the Czech Philharmonic, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic and the Royal Opera House orchestras, the BBC Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic, the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the St. Diego, St. Louis and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, the Boston Classical Orchestra, the Prague Radio, Verdi Orchestra of Milan, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the China Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Gulbenkian Symphony Orchestra in Lisbon and the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg.
Nina Kotova was born in Russia and began cello studies at six and piano at seven. She graduated from the Central music school and studied at the Moscow Conservatory. After her escape to the West, she graduated from the Musikhochschule in Cologne “Mit Auszeichnung” (magna cum laude) and received her Master's degree in the US. Ms. Kotova gave her first performance as a soloist with orchestra at age 11, making her debut in Prague with the Prague Radio Orchestra after winning the 1st Prize at the Concertino Praha. Carrying on the tradition of not only her legendary father, Russian double-bassist Ivan Kotov, but her teachers and mentors, which include Igor Gavrysh, Valentin Feigin and Boris Pergamenschikov Ms. Kotova has also taught as an Artist in Residence at the University of Texas in Austin.
Ms. Kotova has performed on the Red Square in Moscow, for the Imperial family of Japan and at Buckingham Palace. She has appeared in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, at the 92nd street Y, the Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, Cerritos Center, Pepperdine University PAC, Rising Stars at Ravinia, Wolftrap, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican Centre in London and Cadogan Hall, De Doelen in Rotterdam, at the Teatro La Fenice, Teatro Verdi, Teatro Carlo Felice, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Orchid Hall and Osaka Symphony Hall in Japan, Esplanade in Singapore, Seoul Arts Center, The Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Ms. Kotova has been the subject of numerous features in Time, Newsweek, Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and the Wall Street Journal, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, Hello magazine and the Strings magazine and appearing on television on A&E’s “Breakfast with the Arts”, “Hard Talk” and the “Charlie Rose Show” as well as being on the covers of Classic FM, Classical Music Magazine Hong Kong, Record Forum, The Gramophone China, Caravan and VIP Russia, Il Venerdi Italia and Reader's Digest.
Ms. Kotova collaborates with musicians such as violinists Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Maxim Vengerov and Nikolaj Znaider, guitarist Sir Angel Romero, soprano Laura Claycomb, flutist Sir James Galway and pianists Fabio Bidini, Jose Feghali, Helene Grimaud, Lang Lang and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Ms. Kotova has performed with conductors including Teodor Currentzis, Stephane Deneve, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Vladimir Jurowski, Claus Peter Flor, Alain Lombard, Nicola Luisotti, Sir Antonio Pappano, Libor Pesek, Tamas Vasary, Hans Vonk and Jaap Van Zweden.
Among Ms. Kotova’s honours is the Tuscan-American Association award for her outstanding cultural contributions as a co-founder of the Tuscan Sun Festival. Ms. Kotova has also co-founded Festival Del Sole in Napa Valley. She calls the Festivals “a mecca and meeting place for artists and admirers of the arts alike”.
Nina Kotova’s recordings include her chart-topping debut album for Philips Classics, the Bloch “Shelomo” with Philharmonia of Russia conducted by Constantine Orbelian and her own Cello Concerto which she premiered in San Francisco to rave reviews, the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton for Sony Classics, the Deutsche Grammophon compilation “Masters of the Bow”, which pays homage to the greatest cellists of the last 50 years, as well as the complete Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello recorded on the 1673 Jacqueline du Pré Stradivarius for Warner Classics.
Ms. Kotova has been featured in the AA Attractions magazine in Measure for Measure. She has been a guest artist of the Casals Festival, Verbier, Ryedale, and Arundel festivals, Las Canarias, Boca Raton, La Bustan festivals, Macao International Music festival, Flagler Music Series, Chamber Music San Francisco, The Santa Fe Concert Association, Cliburn Concerts, Yuri Temirkanov’s Arts Square and The Prague Spring International Music Festival.
A champion of contemporary music, Ms. Kotova has commissioned and premiered works of leading composers including Christopher Theofanidis, Dmitry Smirnov, Michael Nyman, and Sir Anthony Hopkins. She has premiered Cello Concerto by Jonathan Leshnoff with Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dirk Brosse. Ms. Kotova also co-commissioned the play based on the life of Frederic Chopin titled “Seduction, Smoke and Music”.
A versatile collaborator, Ms. Kotova has performed Vivaldi double concerto with Bobby McFerrin, appeared on the MTV Music Awards at the MET with Trent Reznor, appeared in the Matthew Barney’s Cremaster, performed with Sting and Trudy Styler in the production “Twin Spirits” celebrating life of Robert Schumann, performed Saint-Saens “The Swan” with Nina Ananiashvili, Irina Dvorovenko, Lil Buck and the soloists of the Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Nina appeared with John Malkovich in Iglesias’ “A Registered Patent”. Ms. Kotova has performed at the Forgiveness and Reconciliation Menorah Dedication in Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe in Dallas.
As a composer Nina Kotova has written numerous works for cello and orchestra. Her first Cello Concerto premiered in San Francisco in 2000. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that "like Wolfgang Rihm in 1974, so Kotova in 2000 stands in defiance of both the emotional austerity of last century's modernism and the new simplicity of so much recent music." Ms. Kotova has been commissioned a Triple Concerto by the University of Texas and toured her Cello Concerto “The Tuscan” for cello and chamber orchestra with Dmitry Sitkovetsky conducting across the US featuring its NY premiere at Carnegie Hall.
Images and text courtesy of IMG Artists