Top stories from the string music world

Blogs Friday, 23 May 2014

Violinist Bin Huang on playing the 'Salabue', 'Berta' Guadagnini - listen to a clip

The violinist performed Bach's Chaconne on the instrument during a recent trip to Italy

Visiting Giovanni Accornero at his home means playing at least two dozen top-quality violins ranging from modern to antique, discussing their qualities, comparing them with each other, and just having...

News Friday, 23 May 2014

St Louis Symphony Orchestra appoints three new violists

Jonathan Chu, Xi Zhang and Chris Tantillo take up their posts from the 2014-15 season

The St Louis Symphony Orchestra has appointed three new violists to its ranks from the 2014-15 season.

Jonathan Chu, who has served as a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since the beginning...

News Friday, 23 May 2014

The Strad June 2014 issue is out now

The issue includes the wonderfully preserved ‘Salabue’, ‘Berta’ Guadagnini violin and New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow on his 34-year career

The June issue of The Strad is on sale now, in which we investigate the beautifully preserved 1774 ‘Salabue’, ‘Berta’ Guadagnini violin and what it can tell ...

Focus Thursday, 22 May 2014

How to nurture a musical prodigy

Early public exposure and adulation can overwhelm highly gifted youngsters. Catherine Nelson talks to expert teachers about how they help prodigies cope

What exactly defines a prodigy? Nicolas Chisholm, head of the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, explains that it has some strange connotations: ‘Prodigy is a dangerous word – it derives from...

Blogs Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Violinist Aaron Rosand on why memorisation is key to interpretation

In the latest in his series on violin technique the American maestro discusses the importance of understanding a work's cultural background and performing by memory to convey this

Begin by studying the score with or without the violin in hand. Sing the line to yourself to better understand how you want to hear it played. We must respect the composer’s intentions, such as...

News Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Handwritten manuscript of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony sells for £1.2m

The only surviving autograph score has been bought by a private investor

The only surviving handwritten manuscript of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony has been sold for £1.2m by Sotheby’s in London to a private investor. The 320-page score, which was thought...

Focus Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Double Acts: Mstislav Rostropovich and Maxim Vengerov

Before he became friends with Mstislav Rostropovich, Maxim Vengerov had to learn how to drink

MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH I don't remember the first time I met Maxim, because now it is as if we have always been together. He has such a career, such a gift for making music, such gifts...

News Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Violinist Nicola Benedetti replaces Janine Jansen to make New York Philharmonic debut

Benedetti will perform Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto no.1 in three concerts

Nicola Benedetti is to make her New York Philharmonic subscription debut tomorrow in Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto, replacing Janine Jansen, who has been advised by her doctor not to play...

News Tuesday, 20 May 2014

European ensembles scoop ¥6m in first prizes at Osaka chamber competition

The Rafale Trio from Switzerland and the Arcadia Quartet from Romania receive top awards, reports Pauline Harding

After a nail-biting final at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan yesterday, first prizes were awarded to the Rafale Trio from Switzerland (pictured) and to the Arcadia Quartet...

Focus Monday, 19 May 2014

How to reduce tension when playing the violin or viola

Mary McGovern provides some advice on holding your instrument without unnecessary spine and shoulder discomfort

The relationship of the head, neck and back is of central importance to human balance, co-ordination and movement. Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955), after whom the Alexander Technique is named...

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