The daughter of two professional violinists, Ioana Petcu-Colan first held a violin as a toddler and gave her debut performance at the age of six. She now enjoys a rich and diverse career following a musical education continued in France, UK and Ireland.
Ioana has given solo performances of many of the great violin concertos including Mozart, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Khatchaturian, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Bach and Bruch. Ioana has also performed short works by Saint-Saens, Wieniawski, Vaughan Williams, Tavener and more with orchestra. With the RTE Concert Orchestra she recorded the Bruch for commercial release on the Lyric fm label and performed several concerts as soloist in the Philip Glass Violin Concerto, other recent highlights include touring Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the Dublin Orchestral Players, several concerts as soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto in D with the Ulster Orchestra and three separate appearances with the Studio Symphony Orchestra.
Collaborations have included projects with artists as diverse as Barry Douglas, members of the Alban Berg, Vanbrugh and Belcea Quartets, John Abercrombie (jazz guitar), Martin Hayes (traditional fiddle) and Canadian rock group Arcade Fire. Stylistically, Ioana is at home in everything from Baroque music on period instruments to the traditional music of South America and she is violinist and founder member of piano trio Ensemble Avalon along with Belfast-born pianist Michael McHale and cellist Gerald Peregrine. The trio have recently completed a three-year-term as the first ever Ensemble-in-Residence in the history of Trinity College Dublin and toured Beethoven’s Triple Concerto as soloists in the spring of 2013. Ensemble Avalon’s debut CD features the trio’s ‘ravishing sensitivity’ and ‘sunlit playing’ (the Strad) in works by Bax and Bernstein and their interpretation of Beethoven’s ‘Ghost’ Trio ‘is in the front rank of modern versions on disc’ (Classical Music Magazine).
Contemporary music plays a big part in Ioana’s professional life, she has been commissioning works and giving premieres since she was still at school and was invited by major international publishing house Universal Edition to edit ‘Violin Project’, a volume of contemporary works for solo violin. Performance highlights to date include working intensively with Arvo Part and Peteris Vasks prior to performing their work, duetting with Philip Glass in concert and a performance broadcast on BBC3 of Luigi Nono’s ‘La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura’, a 45-minute work for solo violin and tape. Ongoing projects include the critically acclaimed ‘Una Santa Oscura’, described as ‘an opera without words’ for staged solo violin in collaboration with composer Ian Wilson and theatre director Tom Creed. ‘Veer’, on the Riverrun label, is a disc of Ian’s string quartets recorded during Ioana’s time as leader of the Callino Quartet.
Ioana plays a wonderful Eberle violin, on generous loan from a private collector and is enjoying her fourth season as Associate Leader with the Ulster Orchestra, with whom she will appear live on BBC Radio 3 as soloist in the UK premiere of Sullen Earth by Ian Wilson in September. Ioana will also join the UO and Michael McHale as soloist for Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto in October. She lives in Bangor with her musician husband and their two little daughters.