Sornitsa Riess, born Baharova, is second concertmaster of the Nuremberg State Philharmonic. Born in Sofia, she moved to Germany at the age of eight, where she graduated from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Weimar under Prof. Dr. Friedemann Eichhorn.
From 2007-2009 she studied at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York with Prof. Joel Smirnoff, where she received her Master's degree.
In 2011 she completed her studies at the Munich Academy of Music under prof. Ingolf Turban. In 2011 she graduated with a soloist diploma.
Sornitsa made her debut as a soloist at the age of nine with the Hofer Symphony Orchestra. This was followed by solo appearances with various orchestras in Europe and the United States, including the Baden-Baden Symphony Orchestra, the Kurpfalz Chamber Orchestra, and the New York Art Symphony, among others.
She achieved first prizes at the Federal Competition for Young Musicians Germany, the Lions Competition in Nuremberg and the Citta di Padova International Competition 2009 in Italy.
She received scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for her residency in the USA, 3 scholarships from the Juilliard School, the Carl Flesch Music Academy and the German Music Life Foundation.
As a chamber musician, she has performed with various ensembles at Paul Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, and at festivals in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. She has performed with the Gustav Mahler Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Abbado.
Prior to accepting the position in Nuremberg, Sornitsa was appointed from 2009-2013 as Principal Concertmaster of the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Mainz. Since then, she has been a frequently invited guest concertmaster in Germany and Europe, including the Frankfurt Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra, State Philharmonic, Rheinland-Pfalz, Berlin Concert Orchestra, Palau de les Artes Reina Sofia in Valencia and other ensembles.
In 2016 she released her first album with the Japanese pianist Kyoko Asaka entitled "Songs for Violin and Piano" on the Orplid label.
Since 2021 she has been associate professor of violin at the Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen/Nuremberg.