The Azerbaijani-British violin virtuoso, soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral director, Nazrin Rashidova made her solo début at the age of three in Baku, and was awarded a Gold Medal by the Cairo Opera House for an exceptional violin recital three years later. Establishing FeMusa in 2008, Britain’s first female chamber orchestra in 70 years, is merely the latest in a series of achievements. Nazrin entered the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 15, where she had the privilege of playing on a rare collection of violins by Antonio Stradivari. She studied with professors Erich Gruenberg, Felix Andrievsky and Lydia Mordkovitch. A prizewinner in several international competitions, she has appeared on international television and radio, and performed in the United States, Japan, Europe and the Middle East. She has also had the honour of playing for the late President of Azerbaijan, HRH The Prince of Wales and HM The Queen of Jordan. Nazrin has recorded six acclaimed albums for Naxos, including Godowsky’s music for violin and piano with Roderick Chadwick [8.573038], released in 2013 and a selection of works for violin and piano by Moritz Moszkowski with Daniel Grimwood [8.573410], released in 2015. She has also recorded an album comprising popular classical works newly transcribed and arranged for the violin and guitar with guitarist Stanislav Hvartchilkov, released on First Hand Records to great acclaim. More recently, Nazrin has completed her PhD at the Royal Academy of Music, where she explored Émile Sauret’s 24 Études Caprices, op.64 through the making of a first recording. Her world premiere recording series of these works comprise four volumes and are released by Naxos. In support of her research, she was awarded one of the most prestigious awards of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, The John Clementi Collard Fellowship and also the Clarence Myerscough Award at the Royal Academy of Music. Three of the volumes were recorded on the c.1685 ‘Sauret’ Stradivari violin, kindly loaned to her by John Ludlow and the series have been critically acclaimed by The Strad, Ritmo, Neue Musikzeitung, Fanfare and American Record Guide magazines.
Nazrin plays a violin after G. B. Guadagnini, Milan, 1753, ‘Nazrin’ made by David Rattray.
Soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral director, pedagogue and researcher, Nazrin's musical acumen is creating a unique place for her in the music world.
Marking her Wigmore Hall debut in 2013 to critical acclaim, the violin virtuoso made her solo debut at the age of three in one of the most prestigious palaces in Baku. Just half a year later, she performed in the Anglo-American University in Cairo. At the same time, she was already appearing with orchestras in the Egyptian Capital. She was an experienced international performer by the time the Cairo Opera House awarded her a Gold Medal after an exceptional solo recital as a six-year-old. And establishing FeMusa in summer 2008 - Britain’s ﬁrst female chamber orchestra since the 1950’s, is merely the latest string to an already accomplished bow.
Nazrin was accepted to The Purcell School of Music in 1995 and was the ﬁrst pupil in the history of the school to have played on a 1/4 size violin gifted to the school by the Royal family, previously belonging to one of HRH The Prince of Walesʼ sons.
In 1998, Nazrin became the youngest semi-ﬁnalist (aged ten) in the history of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition and was invited by Lord Menuhin to open the Gala concert of the Competition. Later on, she was a participant and prizewinner of several international competitions and festivals including, Henri Wieniawski in Poland, Tunbridge Wells in Kent, and the Queen Elisabeth in Belgium.
In 2003, Nazrin was exceptionally accepted to The Royal Academy of Music at the age of 15, and graduated in 2009 with a Master of Music Degree, Diploma and Regency Award for Notable Achievement. During her studies at the Academy and the Purcell School, Nazrin studied with renowned professors, Erich Gruenberg OBE, Felix Andrievsky, Lydia Mordkovich and she has also performed in masterclasses for Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Maxim Vengerov, Lewis Kaplan and Sylvia Rosenberg.
Nazrin has had the opportunity to play on a very valuable and rare collection of violins by the great violin maker, Antonio Stradivari, and she was also the ﬁrst student in the history of the Royal Academy of Music, to be lent the '1707 Castelbarco' violin for a long-term period of two years. To find out more, click HERE.
Nazrin has performed for royalty and other dignitaries: most notably for HRH The Prince of Wales on two occasions; at Buckingham Palace in 1995 and a private recital at St. James’ Palace in 2000. She has also had the privilege of performing for the late President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev in Cairo, Baku and London. In 2001, Nazrin played for HM The Queen of Jordan during a charity concert in aid of MAIC in London.
Between 2011 and 2015, Nazrin was selected as a Cultural Ambassador for BP , having performed for them at various major events, including the London Olympics (2012), the ‘20th Caspian Oil and Gas’ Exhibition and in the ‘Contract of the Century’ celebrations in Azerbaijan.
She has also given numerous concerts and recitals in the U.S.A, Brussels, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Switzerland, Egypt, Oman, Japan and in London at the Barbican, Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Kings Place, Guildhall, St. Martin-in-the–Fields, Cadogan Hall, St John’s Smith Square and Westminster Central Hall. Nazrin's extensive repertoire encompasses almost 40 Concertos and over 300 Chamber and Virtuoso works.
Nazrin’s debut CD, recorded with pianist, Roderick Chadwick, was released in 2013 on the Naxos label and was hailed by The Strad and Gramophone Magazines. A second CD, of Azerbaijani music was launched in King’s Place in March 2014, comprising a collection of hits/songs by 20th century Azerbaijani composer, Tofiq Guliyev, newly arranged for violin and guitar, by herself and guitarist, Stanislav Hvartchilkov. She recorded a Moszkowski album with pianist, Daniel Grimwood, which was released on Naxos in December 2015 and acclaimed by the Gramophone and Fanfare Magazines. Nazrin's next album with Stanislav entitled, 'Carnival' was released by First Hand Records in 2016 and hailed by The Strad and Fanfare Magazines.
Based in London, FeMusa has been featured on BBC World News, Euronews, LondonLive and they have given numerous concerts in London, performed on ‘Omani Woman’s Day’ at the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman, and in Baku, Gabala and Paris.
More recently, Nazrin has completed her Doctorate at the Royal Academy of Music, where her research explored Émile Sauret's 24 Études Caprices, through the making of a first recording. Her world premiere recording series of these works comprise four volumes and were issued by Naxos between 2017 and 2020. The first volume [8.573704] featured on BBC Radio 3 and was also selected as a ‘Critic’s Choice’ in the American Record Guide. The remaining three volumes were recorded on the c.1685 ‘Sauret’ Stradivari violin, kindly loaned to her by John Ludlow. Her sense of the wider importance of the project can be gained from the articles published in The Strad magazine (https://www.thestrad.com/nazrin-rashidova/2753.tag) and reviews featured in the American Record Guide, Fanfare, The Strad and Neue Musikzeitung magazines. In support of her research, she was awarded one of the most prestigious awards of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, The John Clementi Collard Fellowship and also the Clarence Myerscough Award at the Royal Academy of Music.
She now plays on a violin after G.B Guadagnini Milan 1753 'Straus' (Royal Academy of Music Collection) by David Rattray, London 2009 and with an 1890 Lamy bow, generously gifted to her by James Smillie.