1. Alina Ibragimova’s outstanding Bach solo at the 2015 BBC Proms was met with rave reviews. It was the first time the violin sonatas and partitas had been performed in their complete cycle at the BBC Proms. The rendition was described as “spellbinding” by the Guardian and as combining “dazzling brilliance and subtlety” by Bachtrack . Played entirely from memory in unshowy, pared back style, this was a truly exceptional performance.

Alina Ibragimova (c) Eva Vermandel

2.Anna Devin trained at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio. Her performance as Cleopatra earned her this review from Opera Magazine: “Anna Devin’s fascinating Cleopatra, one of the finest London has heard since Valerie Masterson at the Coliseum almost four decades ago…” High praise indeed! Anna is also passionate about nurturing new talent, giving masterclasses at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin and coaching at the Royal Academy Opera Course, London.

Anna Devin (c) Victoria Cadisch

3. Alina moved to the UK from Russia at the age of 10 when her father took a position as principal double bass with the London Symphony Orchestra. She started developing her own independent style as a teenager, saying in a Guardian article “There are so many boxes you have to tick at competitions. And already then I was experimenting, especially with Bach, and it was never going to work in competitions any more. It was quite difficult and a little bit rebellious.”

Alina Ibragimova (c) Giorgia Bertazzi

4. Anna is a proud ambassador for the British Dyslexia Society after having difficulties acquiring literacy as a child and eventually being found to be dyslexic. Anna’s message to young people who find that they are dyslexic is: “Being different is not a bad thing. Not fitting in with the crowd is a blessing, as we all have our own journey and being forced to find your own path brings originality.” (as per British Dyslexia Association)

Anna Devin (IMG Artists)

5. Alina was made an MBE in the 2016 New Year Honours List. Of the award Alina said (as quoted here): “I am delighted and privileged to accept this honour, as someone for whom the United Kingdom has become a musical and inspirational home. My career in music couldn’t have happened without the support and generosity of the musical culture of this country. I am thrilled to receive this MBE.

You can see Alina and Anna perform in A Baroque Christmas on 16 Dec at Lighthouse Poole. The concert will also be livestreamed. Please see our new season press release for details of what is coming up in the New Year.