Violinist Alina rocks the classics

Critic Anna Picard looks forward to this autum's classical offerings
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The Independent Culture

At the inaugural This is Not For You classical music club night in Shoreditch Town Hall, London in 2005,

Alina Ibragimova stilled the chatter, playing Bach, unaccompanied, in a room full of students, critics and Hoxton art fiends. Two years later the young violinist has an acclaimed recording of Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Concerto Funèbre under her belt, a stint as a BBC New Generation Artist, and is about to direct the Britten Sinfonia in a series of performances of Hartmann, Bach and Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht at the West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge (01223 357851, 22 Oct), Norwich Cathedral (01603 630000, 23 Oct) and the Queen Elizabeth Hall London (0871 663 2500, 24 Oct).

Birmingham Opera Company has produced some of the most powerful and unusual site-specific productions of the last few years, bringing professionals and local theatre groups together for Monteverdi's Ulysses in a derelict ice rink and Don Giovanni in a disused bank, and attracting a fan base from hundreds of miles beyond the Midlands. This year, director Graham Vick will adapt his 2004 Verona production of La traviata for Birmingham's National Indoor Arena, with Talise Trevigne, Mark Wilde and Wendy Dawn Thompson leading a 240-strong cast and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. There are only two performances, so book now (0870 909 4144, 25 & 26 Oct).

Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic offer the Sibelius retrospectives at the Barbican, London (0845 120 7552)

1-10 Nov, mixing the symphonies with performances of John Estacio's orchestration of Seven Songs, the European premiere of Steven Stucky's Radical Light and Salonen's own Wing on Wing, written for twin Finn sopranos Anu and Piia Komsi.

Meanwhile, if you're young enough and quick enough, log on to www.roh.org.uk to register for the special one-off student performance of Das Rheingold that has just been announced for 12 October at Covent Garden, London with tickets from £3.



Please check listings; all dates are subject to change; next week, visual art

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