Ksenia Milas is a Russian violinist living in Bologna, Italy. Graduated with honour at Maastricht Conservatoire in 2012 she is constantly performing in solo recitals and concerts with camera ensembles and orchestras in Italy, Russia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Lithuania, Finland, Greece, Switzerland, Egypt, China, The Republic of San Marino. She also teaches at the International Academy in Imola where she was invited, by its Honorary Director Vladimir Ashkenazi, in 2010, to pass on the techniques of the Russian violin school to her numerous students.
In 2017 she records the six Sonatas for Violin Solo Op.27 by Eugene Ysaÿe, Anima Records (Paris, France), a project supported by the music critics Sandro Cappelletto and Tully Poter who have written the in-booklet premise.
With her August Sebastien Philippe père Bernardel dated 1840 and the bow “Marte” by Giovanni Lucchi, Ksenia plays a repertoire ranging from Bach to contemporaries with compositions for violin solo, Chamber and Orchestra. After hearing her to play, in Januaty 2018, the Sweedish composer Jonathan Ostlund writes the composition “Paganini Fantasia, a new work dedicated to Ksenia Milas”. www.jonathanostlund.com/collaborations?lightbox=dataItem-j9x1kome
Ksenia has already performed with various orchestra conductors: Vasily Petrenko (Russia-Norway), Lit Gregory (USA), Darrell Ang (Singapore), Ahmed El Saedi (Egypt), Anatoliy Ribalko (Russia), Ronald Masin (Germany), Carlo Tenan (Italy); and cooperates with various musicians: Bruno Canino, Rudolf Koelman, Orfeo Mandozzi, Antonello Farulli, Leonid Gorokhov, Denis Shapovalov, Giovanni Gnocchi, Alberto Nosè, Anna Serova.
At the age of 8 Ksenia debuts, as a soloist with the State Philharmonic Orchestra of St. Petersburg performing in the Mirror Hall of Beloselsky-Belosersky Palace. Kultura Magazine wrote: “Ksenia has enchanted the public non only for her charisma and astonishing virtuosity but also for her extraordinary talent and artistic sensibility far beyond. (translate from Russian)” She started playing the violin at 4, in the Music School of Volgograd (Russia), it was the 1993, but the following year, upon suggestion of her music teachers, she enters the “Rimsky-Korsakov” Conservatoire of Saint Petersburg where she is welcomed in the classes for talented pupils guided by the Maestro Savely Shalman.
In 1999, the Russian Master violinist Saveliy Shalman wants Ksenia with him for the production of the movie lessons “I’ll be a Violinist”, where he is the producer and director. She cooperates to this project until the 2007.
She enters the Maastricht Conservatoire at the age of 20 and graduates with honour in 2012 with the Maestro Boris Belkin but, since she was a child she has been attending masterclasses and advanced trainings with internationally reknown Maestros: Salvatore Accardo, Eduard Grach, Sergei Kravchenko, Jan Repko, Zakhar Bron, Pavel Vernikov, Michaela Martin, Krzysztof Wegrzyn, Oleksandr Semchuk.
Ksenia starts winning competitions at an early age: she is only 9 when she wins the International Violin Competition in Athens; at the age of 11 she wins the first edition of the Competition “New Names” and the International Competition of the Youth Arts Assembly of Moscow; she is 12 when she is awarded the “High Virtuosity Prize” at Belarus International Festival; in 2006 she is awarded the Jury Prize at the International Competition “Tchaikovski” of Izhevsk, Russia; in 2013 she is first at the International Competitions “Euterpe” and “Val Tidone”, Italy.
Press Reviews Excerpts
Wandering from Paganini to Piazzolla on the scores of a violin and a guitar. “….considered one of the most brilliant new stars of the international violinistic scene. The concert is unmissable, not only for the blazoned artists, but also for the programme. Based on ‘800 Italian virtuoso composers, Paganini and Giuliani, the recital of Ksenia Milas and Giovanni Puddu will make the public of the festival experience also the most famous pages of two giants of ‘900: the Southamericans Piazzolla and Villa-Lobos. A universe of emotions is about to make the night memorable for the Imolese public: from the overwhelming virtuosity of Paganini to the heart breaking evocative force of the “metropolitan tango” of Piazzolla.” Il resto del Carlino, Imola, 18 luglio 2019
Marija Ramljak and Ksenia Milas applauded a lot in Split (Croatia). “ … the concert for violin and orchestra in D major op. 35 by Tchaikowsky has been performed by the talented and long clapped Russian violinist Ksenia Milas.”
Interviewed Ksenia says: “it has been my first important concert. I played it for the first time at the age of 16. I love it because the composer is from my home country, Russia. When I play it I feel it very close to me. …The theatre has a wonderful acoustics, … playing here is very comfortable because it let you hear every single sound of the orchestral section … the orchestra is very good too, flexible, alert to the conductor and the soloist.
Marija adds: “Ksenia is very talented. A soloist of the latest generation who has interpreted the concert introducing some expressive and very interesting innovations.” ” Damiano Cosimo d’Ambra.
The charm of playing Brahms together. Milan, 4th April 2019. Brahms, the three sonatas for violin and piano op. 78. 100 and 108 performed by Ksenia Milas and Claudia Schirripa. Exerpt from the interview to the two artists.
Chiara Schirripa: “Ksenia radiates an incredible sense of calmness and positivity … she always has new and very interesting ideas; she gifts me with fantastic music lessons.”
Ksenia Milas: “…the only meaninful thing for me is the musical honesty and this is not up to your origin. Playing in ensemble is a charming emotion, every your sentence depends on the partner and it is never the same, it is pure emotion. From this cooperation with Claudia I expect imagination, …I like unusual programmes, … I often choose composition rarely performed for their technical complexity. I love daring!
The four seasons are not what they were once! Thrilling night at the Sociale Theatre in Sondrio (Italy), with the winds of Vivaldi Orchestra conducted by Giovanni Pompeo and the extraodinary violinist Ksenia Milas. “Wonderful, charming, divine…she enters with her violin enlightening the stage … the conductor starts “de suite” the first movement of the “Spring” edited by the music genius of Max Richter. Sublime the opening of Milas conversing with the harp … the symphonic interweaving of the “red priest”, almost transfigured, dazzles and burns, almost as Milas’s Face, a Dante’s angelic woman who brins you to the last circle while the bolgia of the cellos ferment… Sudden is the change to Philip Glass… in his adorable prologue the pureness of the sound of her violin gypsys in the thirds while the cellos saw the air … and on the whole, the growing pressing, impossible arpeggio, of unique beauty, of her violin which, with its seductive play, plows over the rhythmic wheezing of the orchestra, … Then it is time for the “Summer” with the pressure of Milas’s expressive power … in the dizzying crescendo of the final strappato… In this concert, Richter and Glass perfectly match one to the other, as in a blowtorch welding, unassailable in their re-interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons… a calculated risk upon Maestro Passerini … but Ksenia has really been the ethereal Beatrice of the concentric circle of the music of sublime. ” Nello Colombo, 15th March 2019
With Ksenia Milas, a less “demonic” and more amiable Paganini. The Russian violinist enchants with the difficult performance of the 24 Capricci by Paganini. “Listening to the 24 Capricci by Paganini in full – more frequently split in small parts or, worse, confined to encores – is an important eye-opening experience revealing the value of this opera, certainly famous, but not enough appreciated in its right perspective… Kesnia Milas has performed the rich, complex and varied set of the 24 Capricci not in the traditional publishing order but choosing a personal sequencewhich has highlighted the expressive and tonal connections. Her refined technique capable of transparent and soft findings in the sound quality, has rendered a less demonic and a devil-may-care Paganini, to the benefit of more neglected aspects: the lyrical perspective, a tonality full of timbres and acoustic aspects, the highlighting of unusual melodies with popular zest. All this permeated her whole performance realized with clearly distinguished contours and played with geometric precision.” Review by Daniela Iotti, Il Resto del Carlino, 21st July 2018.
- YSAŸE, the full Sonatas for violin solo op.27, Ksenia Milas violin – CD Anima Records ANM17040000, evaluation (five stars). “… The six Sonatas are virtuousistic. Terribly virtuousistic… But the Sonatas also have an appalling musical deepth… Kesnia Milas interpretation, the Russian violinist born in 1989, wonders for the absence of harshness, not only for her perfect intonation, even in the double strings, in the harmonic passages and in the treacherous quarter-tones, but above all for the smoothness of the bow flashes and the warmth of the sound. Kesnia Milas approaches these scores with the same serenity of mind of David Oistrakh – who recorded the most amiable among the first editions of the Six Sonatas– playing the Capricci by Paganini. It’s a sentimental distance which prevents her to loose herself in the sensuality of Malinconia or in the rhythm of Siciliana of the Sonata n. 2 in A minor but which allows her to brave in souplesse even the most arduous passages, as for example, just to stay in the Sonata n. 2, the final movement called Les furies. Even if the booklet photoes (with Italian notes too: a quite rare event) show her dressed in studied elegance and in poses for glossy magazines, her way of playing reveals a naturalness and freshness absolutely uncommon among today’s hyper-virtuous violinists. The natural reverberation of the recording carried out in a small church instead of in the neutral space of a studio enhances all that. It is a high-class interpretation, in the mark of absolute integrity, sense of moderation (see as every useless sound emphasis is avoided of the Prelude of the Sonata n.2, in passage Dies Irae) and accurate work of digging under the surface of the score. Review by Luca Segalla, ARCHI-Magazine, July/August 2018. (Translation from the Italian excerpt).
CD review: Ysaÿe Intégrale des Sonates pour violon op. 27 – Artistic evaluation:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Technical evalutaion:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐“…Ksenia Milas recording catches – besides her superb technical control of the intonation and the eloquence of her bow flashes – for the strengthand the dramatic pathos given to the interpretation, not devoid of quite suggestive moments of lyric, dreamlike atmosphere and fantasy as well Reverie and ironic/grotesque intervals. Played as such, the Six Sonatas are pure pleasure and listened in one breath.” Review by Cesare Fertonani, AMADEUS n. 341, April 2018. (Translation from the Italian excerpt).
CD rewiew, Ysaÿe Intégrale des sonates pour violon. “…There are many fine recordings of these endlessly fascinating works; one of my favourites is Alina Ibragimova’s for Hyperion. Ksenia Milas’ playing has much in common with the former’s while conveying slightly more warmth and earthiness. Highly recommended.” Review by Will Yeoman, Limelight Magazine Australia, March 8th, 2018. www.limelightmagazine.com.au/reviews/ysaye-ksenia-milas
The modern Paganini according to Ksenia Milas “Ksenia Milas with her French violin, an Auguste-Sebastien Bernardel dated 1840, hits both the goals: she is technically appropriate, always careful to the multifaceted and shifting timbric palette, particularly enhanced in the bass zone of the texture thanks to a full-bodied and velvety sound of high expressive impact. Agility and precision are ruled with estreme ease, while her stylistic analysis prevents her from shifting towards romantic and inappropriate sentimentality. The Sonata n. 3, results, thus dry and intense never beyond a controlled passion. The n. 2 develops with persuasive strength and explicitness in the showing of the thematic plot, filtered through the arcane chromaticism, all sharply highlighted. In this recording of Ysaÿe, Bach’s heritage is vivid and actionable, not only an inctellectual ambition or a flair two centuries later.” Cesare Galla, Le Salon Musical LSM, 13th November 2017. www.lesalonmusical.it/il-moderno-paganini-secondo-ksenia-milas/, (Translation from the Italian excerpt).
Unforeseeable violin. “…Russian, forever violinist thanks to that endless commitment that the “Rimsky-Korsakov” Conservatoire, to this day, demands and offers to its most talented pupils. Milas has been living in Italy since long. She teaches at the International Piano Academy of Imola. Elegant and private she discloses a quite common appeal typical of the female characters in Hitchkock’s movies: she is unforeseeable…Milas renders, with confidence, a coherent and many-sided whole. I do not know why this young musician has felt, today, the need to propose this full opera, giving it such a convincing interpretation. She has been the only one to dare”. Review by Sandro Cappelletto, Classic Voice Italia, Cover Story, October 2017. (Translation from the Italian excerpt).
The clever Ksenia Milas clapped soloist in Mozart. “…The waiting was for the performance of the famous soloist and it hadn’t been dashed at all. Since the first scores, KM has revealed herself as a great sensitivity artist skilled with a exquisite instrumental technique: especially for the crystalline and cheerful sonority of the cavatina. Her interpretation has been characterized by an enthralling honesty to get in the spirit of the concert, with an accurate interweaving of strength, lyricism, elegance and with prudent, shriveling colour celebration of “turquoise moment” of the final rondò. The dense crowd has fully appreciated the performance praising ovations to the brilliant soloist…”. Nicola Sbisà, La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, Bari, 28th October 2017. (Translation from the Italian excerpt).
Ysaye – LES 6 SONATES. “La différence est très frappante entre les jeux des deux instrumentistes: l’une a une sonorité très ample, dans un tempo retenu quand le français est plus rapide avec un jeu plus tendu et nerveux. Au fur et à mesure de l’écoute, ces premières impressions se confirment : on admirera chez Ksenia Milas la beauté de sa chaude sonorité,” Thierry Vagne, 28 ottobre 2017. http://vagnethierry.fr/ysaye-6-sonates-ksenia-milas-eric-lacrouts/
“Ksenia’s violin owns … a limpid sound, never tarnished with inaccuracy or hesitation in the bar or phrase opening or conclusion, fascinates for a peculiar mood which characterizes it: sinuous and unpredictable, calm and darting, vivid in the flashing brightness in the acute pitch register…”. (Translation from the Italian excerpt, CD review).
“Quite another quality in the sound expresses…. Ksenia Milyavskaya (Milas), ….she has shown, in the second Sonata by Prokofiev more than in the maudlin boring op. 75 by Saint-Saëns, Sonata by Prokofiev performed with great expressive flexibility, rich in shades and deep in the stilistic analysis.” Cesare Galla, reviewing the concert at Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza 2016. (Translation from the Italian excerpt).
“… on stage she turns into an exstraordinary, charismatic and virtuos soloist.”, by Denis Shapovalov. (Translation from the Italian excerpt).
“…. She considers and uses her extremely refined and fast technique not as a result for its own sake, but as e medium to convey the composer’s ideas and thoughts to the public.”, by Antonello Farulli. (Translation from the Italian excerpt).
“…Ksenia is a charismatic violinist with a brilliant technique and a overwhelming stage presence. She has the most profound and the rare gift typical of the soloist….”, by Marco Boni, Honorary conductor at Amsterdam Concertgebouw. (Translation from the Italian excerpt).