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Elvira Bekova  
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Elvira Bekova is the artistic director of Music @ Felcino Bianco, which runs summer schools and other courses for professional musicians, academy students and amateur musicians. She is also a member of the Bekova Trio. Some of Elvira's music can be heard on

Elvira Bekova (Nakipbekova) has built a reputation as an outstanding soloist and chamber musician, distinguishing herself through the wide range of her repertoire and appearances in the major festivals and concert halls in the UK, continental Europe, USA, Canada, the Middle East and Australia. She is a member of The Bekova Trio which has won acclaim for both performances and their numerous recordings on the Chandos label. She was born in the industrial and mining town Karaganda in central Kazakhstan which was notorious as a place of internal exile in the Soviet Union. Elvira began learning violin at the local music school. Her first teacher was a accomplished Russian cellist, musician and exile Roman Mazanov. She began performing in concerts, on radio and television, having made her concert debut at the age of 15 playing the Khachaturian violin concerto with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra. After four years of studies with Professor Benjamin Hess (a pupil of the legendary K. Mostras), Elvira entered the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow where she was the first Kazakh instrumentalist to be accepted. Her principal teacher was the great Russian violinist, conductor and pedagogue, the late Igor Bezrodny, who upheld and developed the unique violin methods of his illustrious teacher A. Yampolsky. Bezrodny had heard Elvira performing the Paganini violin concerto while on his tour of Kazakhstan and immediately invited her to join his class in Moscow. She graduated with gold medal honours, the first Kazakh student to do so. After being a prize-winner in the Paganini Violin Competition in Genoa and in the Chamber Music Competition in Belgrade, Elvira commenced intensive touring throughout the USSR. She appeared as a recitalist and as a soloist performing concerti with the principal Russian symphony orchestras and then as a member of The Nakipbekova Sisters Trio. Among the most memorable events of the time were her performances of the violin concerti of Brahms and Sibelius under the baton of Igor Bezrodny as well as her recording as dedicatee of the violin concerto composed by the Kazakh composer Mukhamedjanov on the Melodiya label. She received the title "Honoured Artist of Kazakhstan".

From 1989 Elvira has lived in Great Britain where, after a triumphant debut concert of The Bekova Trio, she continued to expand her career internationally as a recitalist, chamber musician, teacher and recording artist, consolidating her reputation as one of the finest representatives of the Russian school of violin-playing. She has performed with major orchestras including the London Philharmonic, the Moscow and Leningrad Philharmonic, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the Resident Orchestra, Den Haag and the Ankara State Orchestra. There have been many notable trio and recital performances since that first concert in the South Bank Concert Hall in London. In particular,the concerts performed at the Melbourne Chamber Music Festival, those in the Wigmore Hall, the West Cork Festival in Ireland, Lochenhaus and Menton as well as a warmly applauded series of concerts at a variety other of venues in France. Elvira and her sisters premiered the triple Concerto Grosso by the contemporary Russian composer Sergey Zhukov in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow and later recorded the piece with the Orchestra den Haag in the Netherlands. She returned to Moscow later to play the first performance of Zhukov's violin concerto, a piece that he dedicated to Elvira. Masterclasses have also been given in Britain, Cork, Melbourne, Brussels, Angers and Ankara. Their concerts have been broadcast by the leading radio and television companies in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, USA, Canada, Turkey and Australia. The Bekova sisters have given world premieres as dedicatees of works by David Heath, Michael Finnissy, Steven Gerber, Timur Tleukan and Sergei Zukhov. In the space of a few years The Bekova Trio has given performance cycles of all the chamber compositions of Beethoven and Brahms and the marathon series "From Haydn to Schnitke".

Their Extensive solo and chamber repertoire has been recorded on more than 30 CDs under the Chandos label., see discography. Their recorded repertoire for Piano Trio not only have been applauded internationally, but in many instances have become the gold standard by which others are judged. Critics have praised their innately single-minded view of music deriving from their rapport as sisters. They are behind many chamber musical arrangement includin "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Mussorgsky, "Four Seasons" and the vocal romances by Tchaikovsky, concert pieces by Prokofiev and Stravinsky and many others. These arrangements are unique of their kind and have been recorded on CD and published internationally by Boosey and Hawkes, see bibliography.

In 1993 Elvira was invited to teach at the world-renowned Eton College in England. Since her move to Italy in 2005, Elvira has performed extensively, both as chamber musician and increasingly again, as soloist and recitalist. Elvira's playing is an example of the classical style and the best traditions of the Russian violin school and the Moscow Conservatoire, with her refined bow technique and her quality of sound, once described by David Oistrakh as "unique".

© M Humphreys & E Bekova, 2003 - 2010