Once Upon Curiosity

Dana Zemtsov



Dana Zemtsov is one of the most promising viola soloists of her generation. Gramophone Magazine has celebrated her playing as being “so perfectly tuned, so varied in color and with such considerable distances in the intervals between the notes, that you would be forgiven for thinking it sounded more like a chamber orchestra”.

Dana regularly performs in concert halls such as the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, St. Petersburg Philharmonia, The Opera House in Tel Aviv, and Carnegie Hall in New York. She has played chamber music with Janine Jansen, Giovanni Sollima, Martin Frost, Anna Fedorova, Ilya Gringolts, Boris Berezovsky, and many others. As a soloist, Dana has performed with symphony orchestras in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, US, Brasil, Mexico, Ukraine and Estonia, under the baton of Leif Segerstam, Otto Tausk, Daniel Raiskin, Massimo Quarta, Marco Parisotto, and Fabio Mechetti. In 2011, she participated in the ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ tour in Germany, together with the most promising young talents of Europe. 

Dana is 1st Prize laureate of several competitions in Luxembourg, Italy, Austria, Germany, Portugal, and the Netherlands. In 2010 she won the Dutch competition ’Evening of the Young Musician’ and became the Young Musician of the Year. She represented The Netherlands at the Eurovision Young Musicians Competition in Vienna. She has also been awarded the prestigious Kersjes Prize, granted every year to an outstanding young string player in the Netherlands. In 2016, Dana was chosen as ‘Guest of Honor’ among talented young violists to represent her generation at the 43rd Viola Congress in Cremona by the side of Bruno Giuranna, Ettore Causa and Tabea Zimmermann. 

So far, Dana has released five critically acclaimed albums: ‘Enigma’ (solo, 2014), ‘Romantic Metamorphoses’ (with pianist Cathelijne Noorland, 2015), ‘Essentia’ (with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Daniel Raiskin, 2018), ‘Silhouettes’ (with pianist Anna Fedorova, 2020), and ‘Dutch Hidden Gems’ (with Phion Orchestra, pianist Anna Fedorova and conductor Shizuo Z Kuwahara 2022), all on the Channel Classics Records label.

In her own words, Dana tells us: “I was born in Mexico City, into an intensely musical family. Apart from a few violinists, a composer and one singer, the rest of my family members are all viola players. I like to think that part of the inspiration for me to pick up the viola was my grandmother Mila. She was a very free and bohemian spirit, a wonderful violist and so in love with music! Her dream was for the whole family to live in the same house in the countryside and to make music together all day long. That is the atmosphere that I want to keep alive, I bring that unconditional love for music to every single concert that I play.”

Born into a family of musicians in 1992, Dana received her first music lessons from her grandmother and her parents. She continued her studies with viola virtuoso Michael Kugel. Dana teaches regularly at places such as the Kuhmo Festival, Cividale International Masterclasses and the Davidsbündler Music Academy in The Hague. Together with family members, she annually organizes the Zemtsov Viola Masterclasses. 

Dana plays the “Claude Pirot 1813” viola. 

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