©Ana Dimitrova
Vanessa Hristova, Viola

Bulgarian violist Vanessa Hristova performs internationally as a soloist, chamber musician and principal violist and has appeared at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Cadogan Hall, London Coliseum, National Concert Hall Dublin and Bulgaria Hall. Recently she received first prize and the special prize at the XII International Music Competition Dobrich, second prize at the King's Peak Competition, third prize at the North London Competition D'addario String Prize and was a finalist of the International Anton Rubinstein Viola Competition.

Vanessa has participated in festivals including Young Euro Classics Berlin, Sofia Music Weeks International Festival, IMS Prussia Cove, International Music Festival Orpheus Vienna, Festival Academy Budapest, Stift Musical Encounters, Varna Summer International Music Festiva and was invited to the Encuentro de Santander and Maiastra. During 2023 she will be a Young Artist of the Stift International Music Festival.

As a soloist she has performed with a number of orchestras and has recitals around Europe. She has collaborated with conductors such as Vladimir Jurowski, Sir Andrew Davis, Vasily Petrenko, Johannes Meissl, Maxim Vengerov, performing as Principal Violist of all the Royal College of Music Orchestras amongst others. She was selected for the English National Opera Evolve Scheme and nominated for the London Symphony Orchestra Strings Experience and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe Academy. In 2021 she recorded a CD in Abbey Road Studios as a lead viola of LGT Young Soloists and was subsequently invited to perform with them. Vanessa is passionate about exploring and premiering new pieces, including a Capriccio for solo viola dedicated to her by the Bulgarian composer Roumi Petrova. 

As a chamber musician she has toured around Europe with string quartet "Dobri Hristov" and recorded for the Bulgarian National Radio. Recently she recorded Mozart’s Duo for violin and viola in B-flat as part of the award-winning Adeos Duo, which is mentored by the Marmen Quartet and Maxim Rysanov. The Duo regularly performs recitals and concertos with orchestra. Her chamber music coaches also include Adrian Brendel, Andreas Reiner, the Pavel Haas Quartet and the Sacconi Quartet. She has collaborated and performed with the Quartetto di Cremona.

Vanessa has had the pleasure of learning from prominent artists like Alexander Zemtsov, Simon Rowland-Jones, Tatjana Masurenko, Lars Anders Tomter, Jennifer Stumm, Paul Coletti, Wilfred Strehle, Máté Szücs, Guy Braunstein. She regularly attends the IMS Prussia Cove where she’s gotten the chance to perform for HRH Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent and was subsequently invited to play in Steven Isserlis’ concert in London. Recently she was selected on a scholarship for masterclasses with Lawrence Power, Kim Kashkashian and Hariolf Schlichtig.

Vanessa is currently pursuing her Master of Performance at the Royal College of Music as an Elsie Gertrude Martin Scholar, in the class of Nathan Braude, where she is a prize winner of the Viola Competition and has also been offered a scholarship for the Artist Diploma course in 2023-24.


Vanessa is generously supported by the Royal Philharmonic Society Julius Isserlis Scholarship, Help Musicians Postgraduate Award, Countess of Munster Musical Trust Derek Butler Award, the Kathleen Trust and the Stephen Bell Trust. She plays on a Stefan-Peter Greiner and Mark Jennings viola, kindly loaned by IMS Prussia Cove and a Hill bow, kindly provided by Florian Leonhard Fine Violins.