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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 1:39pm

Five minutes with Alina Ibragimova

alina_violin_table2crop Eva Vermandel.jpg

You’re going to be playing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 1 in Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Great Classics 2 Concert, Prokofiev surprised early audiences with the delicate lyricism of his the concerto. What surprises you about the work?

Yes I love it and I love how lyrical it is I always think of it as a fairy-tale. To me it always sounds like magic, the way in which he uses the orchestra, the textures , all those little effects that he makes it really is something out of a fairy tale.


Briefly describe the three movements of the Concerto?

It starts with a scene in the violin with a sort of shimmering accompaniment in the first movement and it is has I guess some quirky movements in it but always with an elevated feeling.

The second movement is a scherzo, it is fast and quirky with lots of effects.

The last movement is a little more serious but goes back into the ethereal first theme again. It is a very unusual shape it’s not your usual first movement, second movement and fast last movement instead it’s a totally different tale that finishes with what it started with.


When the work premiered in Paris, Parisians found it simply too Romantic,  Georges Auric even called the work "Mendelssohnian". Would you agree with this?

Yes to some extent definitely of course it’s very different to Mendelssohn but it has this youth feeling in it like the Mendelssohn does like Prokofiev second Violin Concerto is totally different and it’s much more serious and dark but this is a very youthful and hopeful work.


What do you enjoy most about performing the piece?

What I love most are the colours that are in the orchestra all those different things that can be brought out and all those different sounds that I get to play with.


You are renowned as having a reputation as one of the most accomplished and intriguing violinists of the younger generation (having won many awards including the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award 2010, the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award 2008, and the Classical BRIT Young Performer of the Year Award 2009 and was a member of the BBC New Generation Artists Scheme 2005-7. Let alone receiving an MBE in the 2016 New Year Honours List) How do you cope with the pressure?

I try not to think about that (laughs) in a way whenever somebody says something it’s just not really what my daily life is.  I go and do my best when I play, and I practise and I try and get into the different works that I am learning, play with different people with other orchestras and there isn’t really time to think about whatever  it is people say I’m supposed to be.


Finish this sentence, Music is………. My life.


Alina playing with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra in 1991


You have performed with the ASO before, what are you looking forward to most about returning to Adelaide/ASO?

To Prokofiev again will be wonderful, the Adelaide Town Hall is one of the nicest concert halls I have played in and I hope to be able to travel around and explore the city a bit.


Where is home at the moment? How do you survive you’re gruelling travel schedule? And what can’t you live without on the road?

I live in London now, I guess the hardest thing I find is trying to establish a balance and find some time to spend at home as well.  The problem is we have to plan so far in advance sometimes two to three years in advance and it’s sometimes quite hard to know what you want to do in two years’ time but I’m learning.

I wish they would invent a portable washing machine (laughs) but until those times I think it’s just the usual stuff I tend to forget things all the time so I just learn to live without everything.


How do you prepare for concert day? Do you have any concert day superstitions or routines that you adhere to?

Superstitions not so much but I like to sleep before the concert and eat well because I need the energy to burn.


Is there anything else you wish to add or say to encourage people to see you perform at the Great Classics 2 Concert?

I think it’s one of the most beautiful pieces that exist and it’s got so much light and excitement in a very delicate way it’s really worth knowing the piece well and I look forward to performing it in Adelaide with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.


Alina in London with photo by Eva Vermandel 2016

Experience Alina in concert when she performs Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No 1 in Puppets & Pranksters on 29 July, at the Adelaide Town Hall. Tickets available here.

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