Professor Alfia Nakipbekova

Principal Lecturer

BA (Hons) Music (Classical)
Image of Alfia Nakipbekova, Principal Lecturer: Classical Music


Job Title: Principal Lecturer in Cello

Courses Taught: Cello Performance, BA (Hons) Music (Classical), MA Music

Specialisms: Cello Technique (traditional classical and contemporary extended techniques), Interpretation, Chamber Music Performance, Repertoire, Free improvisation.

Alfia studied with Mstislav Rostropovich (Moscow Conservatoire) and received masterclasses from Daniel Shafran and Jaqueline Du Pré. As a concerto soloist, recitalist and as a member of The Bekova Trio, Alfia appeared at major festivals and concert halls around Europe, the USA, Middle East, Canada and Australia, including Gidon Kremer Lockenhaus Festival, Cheltenham Festival, City of London, Bath Festival, Brighton Festival, Melbourne. Festival, Ankara Festival, Edinburgh Festival and many others.

She has performed with The Philharmonia Orchestra, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Radio Orchestra, Russian Symphony Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra The Hague, The Peruggia Virtuosi The Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra, The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Ankara Symphony Orchestra, Belgrade Symphony Orchestra.

The Bekova Trio has won worldwide acclaim for their performances, the broadcasts on BBC, and numerous recordings for a major independent label in the UK - Chandos Records. Alfia’s extensive discography includes major chamber music repertoire for Piano Trio, Cello Sonatas and Cello/Violin Duos, including critically acclaimed recordings of Brahms, Martinu and Shostakovich. 
BBC Music Magazine - Martinu album was chosen as a CD of the year, Gramophone – Clarke/Ives album was Critic’s Choice for 2000. The Bekova Sisters’ arrangements of Russian music for piano trio (Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Mussorgsky, Shebalin) are published by Boosey & Hawkes. The double album of the Bach Cello Suites recorded in the 12th century St. Boniface Kirk, Orkneys was nominated by the Moscow Radio Orphey (2010) as the Best CD Year. Alfia began a series of "Bach Marathon" solo recitals in 1998 (playing all six Bach Suites in one evening) which she performed at various venues and festivals, including London, Oxford, Aldeburgh, Melbourne Festival, Cork Chamber Music Festival, Felcino Bianco Festival, PACT Festival, Brussels and the Orkney Islands.

The Complete Cello Works by Hans Gal was released in March 2012 on Toccata Classics and received high critical acclaim. Alfia takes an active part in numerous new music performances and collaborations. Among the works she has premiered are: In Stiller Nacht for piano trio by Michael Finnissy QEH, London), Concerto for cello and chamber orchestra by Timur Tleukhan (first performance at the Moscow Conservatoire Rachmaninov Hall with Musica Viva), S. Zhukov: Gethsemane Night for electric cello, choir, piano and percussion, Concerto Mystery, Concerto Grosso (first performances at the Moscow Autumn Festivals, recorded for Chandos), Premiere recording of S. Gerber Triple Concerto (Chandos).

Alfia givesCello and Chamber Music Masterclasses and coaching internationally.

Cellist in Residence - Felcino Bianco Chamber Music Festival and Summer Masterclasses 2004 - 2012, Cork Chamber Music Festival, Dartington Hall Summer School, Brussels Pact Festival.
Member of the Jury at the 8th Schubert and Modern Music Piano Trio Competition in Graz, Graz Academy of Music, February 2012.


Award to Outstanding Mastery of the Cello - International Casals Cello Competition, Budapest.
PhD in Contemporary Cello Music Performance - University of Leeds, 2020.

Presentations of papers and lecture recitals;
Hong Kong Xenakis Project, 2-8 May, 2016
Bangor University BFE/RMA Conference for research students ‘Disciplines in Dialogue’,7-8 January 2016
University of Birmingham, RMA Annual Conference, 9-11 September 2015
University of Leeds Conference ‘Brahms and the 21st century', 30 June-2 July 2015
Goldsmiths College, ‘Music and Process’ Conference, 6 June 2015
Radboud University, Nijmegen Conference ‘Deleuze & Aesthetics’, 4-5 June 2015
Hong Kong Arts Festival Symposium, 16 -21 March 2015
The University of Rome, Deleuze Studies Conference ‘Virtuality, Becoming & Life’, 11-14 July 2016.
Performance Studies Network Conference, July 2018, Norwegian Academy of Music.
Xenakis Seminar, Université 8 Paris, January 2018.

In September 2017, Alfia organised the RMA Xenakis Symposium at the University of Leeds. She is the editor and contributor to 'Exploring Xenakis: Performance, Practice, Philosophy' published by Vernon Press in March 2019.

Alfia is a member of the Programme Committee for Xenakis Symposium, 2022, Athens.



' of the most beautiful, poignant performances of Elgar's concerto that I have ever witnessed in concert. She instantly captured the audience with her graceful, smooth style and delicate dexterity. Her technique seems flawless, with the easy, natural legato which so often appears to be an inherent characteristic of the best cellists from the former Soviet Union." Margarida Mota-Bull SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL (MusicWeb International's Worldwide Concert and Opera Reviews, 2007.

'...there is an underlying spiritual dimension in the Sarabandes of the Third and Fifth Suites. Throughout, tempi are well chosen and rubato is subtly applied. [...] Nakipbekova has the technical mastery truly to realize her vision of these sublime masterpieces. Nakipbekova’s readings are inspirational and she brings something fresh and spontaneous to them.[...]These performances stand side-by side with the best'. Stephen Greenbank, MusicWeb International, 2020.



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