Alina Ibragimova

Credit: Eva Vermandel


“The immediacy and honesty of Ibragimova’s playing has the curious ability to collapse any sense of distance between performer and listener”. The Guardian

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 is illustrated by her prominent presence at the BBC Proms since 2015: aside from concerto performances from the standard repertoire, her Proms appearances have included a concert with a baroque ensemble and two late-night Royal Albert Hall recitals featuring the complete Bach partitas and sonatas, 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”. In the 2018 Proms, Alina gave the World Premiere of the Rolf Wallin Violin Concerto with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Edward Gardner. 18/19 saw a strong focus on Shostakovich Concerto’s No. 1 and No. 2, which she performed and recorded with Vladimir Jurowski and the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia.

Recent highlights include her debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Swedish Radio, Wiener Symphoniker Boston Symphony and return engagements with the London Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and BBC Symphony Orchestra. As a recitalist Alina has appeared at venues including Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Salzburg Mozarteum, Vienna’s Musikverein and Carnegie Hall.

Her long-standing duo partnership with pianist Cédric Tiberghien has featured highly successful complete cycles of both the Beethoven violin sonatas and the Mozart sonatas for violin and keyboard at Wigmore Hall. Future plans for the duo also include extensive touring in Japan and North America.


From The Green Room


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    12 Jan 21 Brahms Violin Concerto Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    Glyndebourne Festival Opera

    “From her explosive first entry one sensed a fierce passion, almost a rage, underpinning everything… That, however, was just the opening flourish to a first movement in which Ibragimova evoked just about every emotional state from beguiling sweetness to a carefree, almost waltzing lilt, and then “after a cadenza of extraordinary technical daring” a gentleness so encompassing that it seemed like a benediction on the lips of a nun.”

    Richard Morrison, The Times

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    21 May 20 Interview Presto Classical

    Alina is interviewed by Katherine Cooper about her recording of the Shostakovich Concertos, a socially-distanced recording project, and more. Read in Presto Classical.

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    14 Nov 19 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto Tonhalle Orchester Zurich
    Tonhalle Maag Konzertsaal

    “…The Russian violinist’s temperament could be felt first and foremost by the Tonhalle Orchestra. She set off at a brisk pace that almost escalated into flightiness, but it perfectly suited the character of this E major Midsummer Night’s Dream. There was a standing ovation even after the first half of the concert…”

    Tages Anzeiger [Martin Ebel] | 15. November 2019 | Debüt Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, cond. Christoph von Dohnányi, Mendelssohn

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    03 Mar 19 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto Chamber Orchestra of Europe with Bernard Haitink
    KKL Luzern, Switzerland

    “…A miracle happened in Lucerne in August 2018. What took place here was a revelation. A young violinist, modest and unassuming, stood before the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and gave a performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto so beguilingly clean and pure, whilst headstrong in style, that one was left open-mouthed. The gentleman [Bernard Haitink] on the podium seemed most impressed of all, alert yet restrained, as with gentle gesture, he bore the music quite literally in his hands. The violinist who performed the feat of making this oft-tortured work sound so refreshingly different was the Russian, Alina Ibragimova…”

    Christian Wildhagen, Neue Züricher Zeitung


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    24 Aug 18 Rolf Wallin Violin Concerto, BBC Proms Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
    Royal Albert Hall, London

    “…Most of all (the concerto), it is the perfect vehicle for Alina Ibragimova’s special brand of virtuosity. It is hard to imagine another soloist presenting the concerto with the intensity and commitment she brought to it here…”


    The Guardian 

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    23 Mar 18 Death and the Maiden Australian Chamber Orchestra
    City Recital Hall, Australia

    “…Playing entirely extemporaneously, Ibragimova gave voice to every scintilla of emotion in her instrument. The sense of urgency and desperation in the adagio was electrifying…”

    Performing Arts Hub 

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    18 Jul 17 Bartok Concerto No. 2 Sydney Symphony Orchestra
    Sydney Opera House

    “From the first notes of the opening melody, violinist Alina Ibragimova proved she was worthy of the spotlight. Playing a marvelous Anselmo Bellosio instrument from 1775, Ibragimova gave a masterful performance, handling the complexities of Bartok’s score with precision and authority”

    Performing Arts Hub

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    31 Jul 17 Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.1 Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
    Adelaide Town Hall

    “With its mercurial restlessness and ­extreme concision, the ­almost contemporaneous Pro­kofiev’s ­Violin Concerto No 1 seemed just around the corner, and Russian violinist Alina ­Ibragimova was completely ­convincing in the ­authenticity, honesty and physical energy she brought to this work. From its delicate whispering opening to its searing trills and rustic folk-­fiddling ­effects, she was utterly compelling.”

    The Australian

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    12 May 16 Bartok, Concerto No. 2 BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Barbican Centre, London

    “Alina Ibragimova (pictured below) is a versatile violinist, light in Baroque repertoire and lyrical in the Romantic. Bartók requires something else, a rhythmically incisive style and a tone with plenty of presence, all of which Ibragimova brought.
    She is capable of a viola-like richness in the lower register, elegant, round and with plenty of projection. Just as valuable is the woody, guttural tone she can apply higher up, evoking the folk fiddle yet without ever sacrificing sophistication.”

    The Arts Desk

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    12 Nov 15 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

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    01 Aug 15 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

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    01 Jun 15 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

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    01 Jul 14 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

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    23 Mar 14 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

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    09 Jul 13 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 

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    28 Jun 13 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

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    01 Oct 12 Mendelssohn Violin Concertos, Hyperion Records
    Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, 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.”
    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.”
    Gramophone Awards Special Issue, Oct 2012

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    21 Sep 12 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

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    01 Mar 12 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 /

    “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