Watch this exclusive video premiere of For Stradivari composed by Aziza Sadikova for cellist Konstantin Manaev and violinist Julia Smirnova. The piece features on their album of works for violin and cello, The Songs of Our Neighbours.

Aziza Sadikova is a composer from Uzbekistan who lives and works in Berlin. She dedicated the composition For Stradivari to the Duo Smirnova-Manaev. ’I love the sound of traditional string instruments,’ Sadikova says, ’and I draw my inspiration from the historical period in which Maestro Stradivari created his violins.’

Manaev studied at Moscow Conservatory with Kyrill Rodin, at the Carl Maria von Weber Academy of Music in Dresden with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, and at the Music Academy in Basel with Ivan Monighetti. He has won numerous prizes at national and international competitions, including at the Wiłkomirski Competition in Poznań, the Adam Cello Competition in Christchurch, the Rahn Kulturfonds Competition in Zurich, and the Young Concert Artists European Audition in Leipzig. He plays a cello by Johannes Theodorus Cuypers from 1762 and a modern instrument by Yury Pochekin, donated by the Pirolo Foundation Basel.

Manaev’s partner on and off the stage, Smirnova began her studies at the Hanns Eisler University of Music in Berlin in 2017 with Antje Weithaas and since 2019 with Stephan Picard, where she received an award for best foreign student. In 2018 she was awarded a scholarship of the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Association. She plays a violin by Antonio Gragnani from 1790

The video was filmed by studio Fabian Grobe, with DOP Christopher Dürkop and sound engeneer Natalia Ervits.