Violinist Stella Zake was born in Riga, Latvia into a family of musicians. She began her professional studies at the Emils Darzins special music school with Ludmila Girska, and in 2013 moved to the Netherlands to continue her studies at Conservatorium van Amsterdam in the class of a renown Russian virtuoso and teacher Ilya Grubert, concluding her studies with the concertmaster of Concertgebouw Orchestra Liviu Prunaru. She was also given opportunities to attend masterclasses and lessons with teachers and performers such as Barnabas Kelemans, Vadim Gluzman, Candida Thompson, Eliot Lawson and Philipe Graffin.
Stella is a versatile musician who has acquired a stage experience in all kinds of roles: from a soloist to an orchestra player.
Stella successfully auditioned into the prestigious European Union Youth Orchestra, and became one of it’s youngest members to do so for 2 consecutive seasons, performing in some of the most famous concert halls in Europe and USA.
In 2018 Stella began her collaborations with Amsterdam Sinfonietta and became the first violinist of Helikon quartet, making her debut in some of the most important venues in the Netherlands, including the Concertgebouw Kleine Zaal in Amsterdam and Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht.
Stella is a prizewinner of international Competitions both as chamber musician and a soloist, recent example of which is the Illzach International Chamber Music Competition in 2017 as the violinist of the Venturis trio.
As a soloist, Stella got the invitation to play with Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, performed with Kremerata Baltica, and regularly gives solo recitals with her sister Santa, pianist, as the SanTella Duo.
Recitals and festival or concert invitations have led Stella to perform in Latvia, Belgium, Norway, Netherlands, Italy, Estonia, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Germany and United Kingdom.
Stella has been praised for her easily recognizable work with sound and colour, as well as a personal approach to the audience and flexibility in repertoire, ranging from baroque music to 21st century, highlights of which include premiering new composition with her quartet as a part of “Arts for Enviroment” initiative.
Currently, together with Helikon Quartet, Stella is releasing her debut CD with music by Maarten ter Horst.
Stella is playing the 1830 Raffaele en Antonio Gagliano, loaned to her by the Dutch Musical Instrument Foundation.