In this video performance from 2011, former principal double bass of the London Symphony Orchestra Rinat Ibragimov plays Vanhal’s Concerto for Double Bass with pianist Catherine Edwards. Ibragimov performs on a double bass made by Matheus Albany on gut strings, in Viennese tuning.
Prior to his death in September 2020, Ibragimov enjoyed considerable success as a double bassist, including winning first prize in the All-Soviet Competition in 1984, as well as the Giovanni Bottesini International competition in Parma, Italy in 1989. He performed extensively in Russia, including as principal double bass of the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, the Moscow Academy of Ancient Music, the Moscow Soloists and the Soloists of the Moscow Philharmonic from 1983 to 1997.
He moved to London in 1995 to take up the position of principal double bass with the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as a teaching post at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He also taught at the Royal College of Music. A stroke in 2014 left him unable to play, though he continued to teach at Guildhall.
Johann Baptist Vanhal was born on 12 May 1739 in Nechanice, Bohemia. He received musical tuition from his family and local musicians, excelling in composition, organ, violin and cello playing. Vanhal’s bass concerto is considered a staple piece of repertoire for bass players worldwide, often performed in auditions and competitions for double bassists.