An intelligent violinist
Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24, “Spring”
With Cédric Tiberghien
Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor, BWV 1060
With Alexei Ogrintchouk and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Once shared the stage with conductor Yehudi Menuhin at the opening ceremony of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at UNESCO, the then 13 year old Alina Ibragimova was destined to lead a life different from many. Indeed, music runs in her blood; her father was the principal double bass of the London Symphony Orchestra and her mother was a professor of violin at the Yehudi Menuhin School. A violinist with an inquisitive mind, Alina Ibragimova finds inspiration from playing period instrument; she formed the period-instrument string quartet Chiaroscuro and in 2012, made her conducting debut with the renowned Academy of Ancient Music.
AI: Alina Ibragimova
JL: Jenny Lee
JL: When did you develop your interest in period instrument?
AI: I have always loved the sound of period instrument. I did not have a chance to study it formally, until I went to the Royal College of Music at the age of 16. The strings, the bow, the sound are different. I had to adjust, particularly the left hand technique.
JL: I know that you are a keen chamber musician, working closely with pianist Cedric Tiberghien. Can you tell us about the collaboration?
AI: I met Cedric at the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists Scheme in 2005. Since then, we have been performing together, working on the complete Beethoven and Schubert sonatas. We are planning to play the complete Mozart too. We like to work on the complete works because it is a good way to get to know the language and the world of the composer very well. I like exploring and thinking.
JL: Who are your inspirations?
AI: There is not one person. I learnt a little bit from everyone I met: My professor at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Natasha Boyarskaya, was very discipline about everything and made me practice; Gordan Nikolitch at RCM made me explore things; Christian Tetzlaff has known me for a long time and he has helped me a lot with his rich experiences. Sir John Eliot Gardiner is great with his interpretation. I also like David Oistrakh and Gidon Kremer.
JL: Have you always been certain of your musical career?
AI: Yes, I somehow knew. My mother plays the violin and my father plays the double bass. They have been very supportive, especially my mother, who made sure I practiced. When I was young, I practiced a lot. Now, depending on my schedule, I try to do four or five hours a day.
JL: What would be a good performance for you?
AI: It has to be true. As soon as you try to make something, I think the audience can feel it. You have to always mean it, feel it. Sincerity is the key.
JL: How do you spend your leisure time?
AI: I am always doing something related to music. When I am at home, I just relax and meet friends. I also go for yoga and gym.
JL: Do you have a motto in life?
AI: Just accept what comes to you.
Bottesini Gran Duo for double bass and violin
Alina with Rinat Ibragimov – double bass and Grace Mo – piano
Discover Schubert’s Complete Works for Violin and Piano by Alina and Cédric.
Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien will be performing in HK on 22 September, 2013 at Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall.