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cellorhythmics

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Biography of cellorhythmics

Alfia Nakipbekova was born in Central Kazahkstan and studied at the Moscow Conservatoire with Mistislav Rostropovich. She also received masterclasses from Daniel Shafran and in 1980 was awarded the "Special Prize for Outstanding Mastery of the Cello" at the Casals Competition in Budapest. In 1981 she defected to the U.K. where she established herself as a leading soloist and chamber musician. At this time she was also one of the last masterclass students to work with Jaqueline du Pre. She is a member of the Bekova Trio which has won worldwide acclaim for their performances and recordings for Chandos Records. Their recording of Martinu's chamber works was chosen as one of the best CDs of 1998 by the BBC Classical Music Magazine. Their latest recording of music by Charles Ives and Rebecca Clarke was a Gramophone Magazine Critics Choice for the Year 2000. Alfia frequently performs recitals of solo cello works from J S Bach and Paganini to Gubaidullina, Vasks and Hesford and has a keen interest in new music and free improvisation. Her recent "Bach Marathon" series in London, Oxford, Aldeburgh, Melbourne and Brussels received high critical acclaim.

"strikingly individual cellist" Daniel Shafran

"sensitive and elegant... a real joy to hear" The Strad

"seamless legato characteristic of the best Russian cellists" The Times

"...a substantial technique... the various tempos were rock-solid and agreeable" The Age, Melbourne Oct '98

"...phenomenal energy on the cello... This was driven playing" The Arts on friday, Oct '98

James Hesford is a composer and improvising cellist. He was born in South Yorkshire and from the age of 12 taught himself to play the guitar. Before his 17th Birthday he was touring with soul and blues bands and in 1980 won the GLAA Arts Council Award - "Young Jazz Musician of the Year".

Soon after James moved to New York where he performed all styles of jazz from bebop to free atonal improvisation as well as playing in punk bands. It was here that he developed his own voice as a performer and composer. After touring and recording (for EMI) with his group "Outbar" he took a break from performing to explore the possiblities of the cello as an improvising instrument while writing scores for TV., film, contemporary dance and receiving commisions to write chamber music.

Over the last two year period he has had several major premieres of works performed at the South Bank (London) and St John's Smith Square (London) and at various concert halls throughout Europe and the UK. Since then he has gone on to play, compose, arrange and record for various groups including Martin and Aine Furey's "Bohinta", Garbi Armii and Garry Low's "Headhunters". Their critically acclaimed debut album, 'Millennium Time Bomb' featured, among others, Nigel Kennedy, Kadir Durvesh and Martin and Aine Furey.

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