Nakipbekova (Bekova) was born in Karaganda, Central Kazakhstan
and began her cello study with exiled musician, Gulag survivor,
R. Mazanov (originally from Rostov-on-Don).
At 15 Alfia went on to continue her education at the Moscow
Central Music School, followed by the Moscow Conservatoire,
studying under Mstislav Rostropovich. She also received an
extensive series of master classes with the Soviet cello legend
- Daniel Shafran.
At the age of 15 she was awarded the First Prize at The Central
Asian Republics Competition and performed Tchaikovsky Rococo
Variation with The Kazakh State Symphony Orchestra. Her awards
also include: Diploma at The All - Union Tchaikovsky Competition
in Vilnius, Diploma at the Piano Trios Competition in Belgrade
and the Special Prize for Outstanding Mastery of The Cello
at the Casals Competition in Budapest, 1980.
As a concerto soloist, recitalist and a chamber musician,
Alfia performed in numerous towns and cities throughout the
former Soviet Republics, as well as appearing at the major
venues in Moscow and Leningrad, and was regularly broadcast
on the Soviet Radio and Television.
As a soloist and with The Nakipbekova Sisters Trio (The Bekova
Trio) Alfia performed with the Kazakh State Symphony Orchestra,
Omsk Symphony Orchestra, The Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra,
The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Ankara Symphony Orchestra,
Belgrade Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Radio Orchestra, Russian
Symphony Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra The Hague, The Peruggia
Virtuosi, Philharmonia Orchestra and The Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra and appeared at the major Festivals and concert
halls around Europe, USA, Middle East, Canada and Australia.
Alfia has always had a passionate interest in new contemporary
music, taking an active part in numerous new musicperformances/collaborations.
The most notable works she has premiered are: 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’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, on Chandos label.
(BBC Music Magazine - Martinu album was chosen as a CD of
the year, Gramophone – Clarke/Ives album was Critic’s
Choice for 2000)
Alfia began a series of "Bach Marathon" solo recitals
in 1998 (playing all six Bach Suites in one evening) and since
then has performed in various venues and festivals, including
London, Oxford, Aldeburgh, Melbourne Festival, Cork Chamber
Music Festival, Felcino Bianco Festival, PACT Festival, Brussels
and Orkney Islands.
The double album of the Bach Cello Suites (recorded at the
12th century St. Boniface Kirk, Papa Westray, Orkneys) will
be released in December 2009 on Alfia Nakipbekova’s
own independent label WCM.