Alina Ibragimova

Biography


Performing music from baroque to new commissions on both modern and period instruments, Alina Ibragimova has established a reputation as one of the most accomplished and intriguing violinists of the younger generation. This was illustrated in her prominent  presence at the 2015 BBC Proms, which included a concerto with a symphony orchestra, a concerto with a baroque ensemble and two Royal Albert Hall late-night recitals featuring the complete Bach partitas and sonatas, which commanded capacity audiences, and for which The Guardian commented “The immediacy and honesty of Ibragimova’s playing has the curious ability to collapse any sense of distance between performer and listener”.

Highlights among future concerto engagements include debuts with the Boston Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, returns with the London Symphony, BBC Symphony, residencies with the Strasbourg Philharmonic and at the Casa della Musica in Porto, as well as extensive touring in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmania symphony orchestras). 

As a recitalist, Alina has appeared at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Salzburg Mozarteum, Vienna’s Musikverein, Park Avenue Armory in New York, Carnegie Hall, Palais des Beaux Arts Brussels, Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Vancouver Recital Series, San Francisco Performances, and at festivals including Salzburg, Verbier, Gstaad, MDR Musiksommer, Manchester International, Lockenhaus, Lucerne, Mostly Mozart New York and Aldeburgh. 

Her long-standing duo partnership with pianist Cédric Tiberghien has featured a highly successful complete cycle of the Beethoven violin sonatas at the Wigmore Hall, where the duo is currently midway through a complete cycle of the Mozart violin sonatas. Future plans for the duo also include extensive touring in Japan and North America.

Over the years, Alina has appeared with orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Orquestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, Seattle Symphony, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Philharmonia, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and all the BBC orchestras. Conductors with whom Alina has worked include Bernard Haitink, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Paavo Järvi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Vladimir Jurowski, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Mark Elder, Philippe Herreweghe, Osmo Vänskä, Hannu Lintu, Sakari Oramo, Ilan Volkov, Tugan Sokhiev, Jakub Hrusa, Ludovic Morlot, Edward Gardner and Gianandrea Noseda.
As soloist/director Alina has toured with the Kremerata Baltica, Britten Sinfonia, Academy of Ancient Music, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Born in Russia in 1985 Alina studied at the Moscow Gnesin School before moving with her family to the UK in 1995 where she studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and Royal College of Music. She was also a member of the Kronberg Academy Masters programme. Alina's teachers have included Natasha Boyarsky, Gordan Nikolitch and Christian Tetzlaff. 

Alina has been the recipient of awards including the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award 2010, the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award 2008, the Classical BRIT Young Performer of the Year Award 2009 and was a member of the BBC New Generation Artists Scheme 2005-7. She was made an MBE in the 2016 New Year Honours List. Alina records for Hyperion Records and performs on a c.1775 Anselmo Bellosio violin kindly provided by Georg von Opel.

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Video

  • BACH
    Corrente from Partita No.2

Audio

Schedule

Black Abbey, KILKENNY

BACH: Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001                                                                   
BACH: Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002                                                                    
BACH: Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003                                                                   

Black Abbey, KILKENNY

BACH: Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004                                                                    
BACH: Sonata No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005                                                                   
BACH: Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006                                                                    

Sheldonian Theatre, OXFORD

BACH: Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001                                                                   
BACH: Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002                                                                    
BACH: Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003                                                                   

Sheldonian Theatre, OXFORD

BACH: Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004                                                                    
BACH: Sonata No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005                                                                   
BACH: Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006                                                                    

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Press

Bach

Concerti

Hyperion Recording

"Final movements are spectacular. In Bach’s ‘very fast’ gigue ending to BWV1041, Arcangelo strings and Ibragimova are fearless, she is consumed with manic energy as her solo builds the tension around a ringing, dissonant E string -  Bach at his wildest". BBC Music Magazine, Recording of the Month
"…we can also admire the thoughtful conceits of the G minor (BWV1056)…the sublimely succinct slow movement reveals Ibragimova’s vibrato as an expressive tool of considerable discernment. Yet it’s the soloist’s unerring focus and resolute direction which see her flying through the D minor Concerto with magnificent bravura".   Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

Bach

Complete Sonatas and Partitas

BBC Proms 2015

"Alone on stage for two late-night Proms (19 & 21), Alina Ibragimova played the complete Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin by Bach. “Played” is a feeble word to convey the life-changing richness of the experience. The hall seemed to shrink to accommodate her quietude, wit and grace".  The Observer
"The B Minor Partita, with its haunting – even haunted – double sarabande may be sombre, but its dances had an energy that proved infectious... An outstanding achievement, spellbinding from start to finish."   The Guardian

YsaŸe

Sonatas for solo violin

Hyperion recording

"Ibragimova brings a ferocious technique but, more importantly, a chameleon touch to music of extraordinarily expressive breadth. Nothing in the violin canon is quite like this: the ghost of Bach lurks behind each sonata but their character is distinct: there is wry humour, grave beauty and daring impetuosity. Ibragimova transfixes throughout".

The Times
"Together, the sonatas form a freewheeling ride to the limits of violin technique, often recalling Bach but more often not. Alina Ibragimova is a superb advocate; nothing here sounds like a mere showpiece, and her performances brim with lyricism and wit".

The Guardian
"Alina Ibragimova has made many fine recordings in recent years, but this solo Ysaÿe disc must count as one of her most memorable achievements. She gives full value to the sonatas’ varied expressive character, their virtuosity, and the imaginative and poetic way Ysaÿe wrote for his instrument. And she makes the music sound quite beautiful: we never feel the medium of unaccompanied violin is at all limiting; the sonatas speak to us unimpeded, without any sense of strain.

The Fifth Sonata is dedicated to Ysaÿe’s longtime friend and colleague Mathieu Crickboom. Its opening movement, ‘L’aurore’, is an Impressionistic depiction of dawn breaking, which allows Ibragimova to display a fantastic array of the quietest tone colours...she takes her place now as one of the most distinguished exponents of these fascinating works.



Gramophone, 'Recording of the Month' July 2015

Prokofiev

Sonatas and Five Melodies, Hyperion recording

Steven Osborne, piano

"Those weird glissandos in the opening movement of the First Sonata evoke exactly the shiver of “wind in a graveyard” that Prokofiev himself alluded to, and the music’s mix of cautious whispers, fierce outbursts, rumination and astringency is potently projected.
In tandem with the comparative calm of the Second Sonata there is also a vitalising impetus and an apt palette of colour that distinguishes the whole disc."

Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph
"...a performance that grips the listener from start to finish, thanks to its unflinching conviction as well as its consummate skill.  I'ts a magnificent performance... both violinist and pianist are wonderfully attentive to the minutiae of the score - with results that are often extremely telling - but it's the broad sweep of these performances that makes this disc so compelling and so exhilarating." International Record Review July/August 2014

Schumann

Violin Concerto

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Eliot Gardiner

"...the finale can sound both serious and charmingly balletic – as it did here, courtesy of Alina Ibragimova. Indeed, the whole work could hardly have had a more persuasive advocate. Ibragimova was in eloquent command of the music, playing with sumptuous tone, and catching the optimum balance of gravitas and grace. The Guardian

Prokofiev, Pärt

City of London Festival 09 July 2013

Goldsmiths Hall

'One of the biggest joys of the London concert scene in recent years has been the opening up of the musical world of Alina Ibragimova, a world that seems to know no bounds. Each successive performance turns into a voyage of discovery...the fierce intensity of Prokofiev’s language was turned on its head by Pärt’s contemplative calm, creating a wondrous journey of tension and relaxation.' Financial Times, July 2013

Watkins

Violin Concerto

BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Thomas Søndergård

'Alina Ibragimova is one of the most richly talented and expressive of violinists; in every performance, she instinctively finds the essence of the music and delivers it with a combination of grace and daring.' The Guardian, 1 July 2013

Mendelssohn

Violin Concertos, Hyperion Records

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Vladimir Jurowski

'Alina Ibragimova's inventive playing is set in sharp relief against the Age of Enlightenment's accompaniments. The orchestra's strings use practically no vibrato; Ibragimova uses it sparingly (to bring the solo line alive), and her subtle changes of colour and prodigious range of articulation are things to wonder at.'


Anderw Clements, The Guardian, 18 October 2012

Andrew Clements, The Guardian
'This performance of the E minor concerto is splendid in may ways and Alina Ibragimova's playing combines verve, brilliance and imaginative intelligence. Mendelssohn's dynamics are scrupulously observed - the pianissimo before the first movement's cadenza is breathtaking and the short Allegretto that introduces the finale, played exactly as written, is exceptionally eloquent.' Grammophone Awards Special Issue, Oct 2012

Prokofiev

Violin Concerto No.1

Utah Symphony Orchestra, Thierry Fischer

"Ibragimova spun out the long melodies of the outer movements with grace, patience and eloquence. The second movement, by contrast, allowed Ibragimova to explore a wide range of tonal effects, from throaty to crystalline.' Salt Lake Tribune

Biber, Bach, Vivaldi

Violin Concerti, directed from the violin

Academy of Ancient Music, Bath Rooms

'Four notes. That’s all it took for Alina Ibragimova to entrance her audience. As she began to play, there was an instant, magical hush in the audience. By the end of the fiendish solo violin piece, it scarcely seemed surprising that one audience member uttered a breathless but clearly audible ‘wow’. The simple four-note descending motif opens [Biber's] magnificent, desolate Passacaglia…played here by Ibragimova with fearless technique and innocent wisdom. At moments in the Bach E major Concerto the tempos seemed on the edge of plausibility, but they never toppled over, and this was a performance of exquisite, lyrical joy.' Rebecca Franks, BBC Music Magazine / classical-music.com
'Making her debut as soloist/director with the AAM, Ibragimova's serene demeanour as always belied her cast-iron technique and her unerring ability to bring a freshness and spontaneity to the music...The mercurial flow that Ibragimova brought to the phrasing, together with the translucent beauty of her tone-colours, made for a riveting experience and the purity of the Adagio in the E major concerto, BWV 1042, was simply sublime.'  Rian Evans, The Guardian

Bach, Berio, Bartok

Recital, July 2011

Barbican Centre, London

"Ibragimova isn’t just an intelligent musician with an adventurous mind; she positively oozes music. Her technical finesse enables her to make a beautiful sound in Bach with no vibrato, while her sense of fantasy shapes the Chaconne’s desperate poetry into a marvel as psychologically probing as the Bartók and as vivid as a film in its own right. Ever wondered why great musicians are called ‘artists’? Here’s the proof."

Jessica Duchen, The Independent

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Recordings

Bach

Violin Concerto in A minor BWV1041
Violin Concerto in E major BWV1042 
Violin Concerto in A major BWV1055
Violin Concerto in G minor BWV1056
Violin Concerto in D minor BWV1052

Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen 
Hyperion