Top stories from the string music world

Focus Monday, 21 April 2014

How well did Shakespeare know the violin?

The word ‘violin’ never appears in Shakespeare’s plays, but he left tantalising clues that he knew the instrument well. To mark the Bard's 450th anniversary this month, we republish an article by John Dilworth from 2009

It has to be said straight away that the connection between the Bard and the violin is tenuous. The word ‘violin’ never appears in all his work, as far as I can find out. Viols, lutes, trumpets...

Debate Friday, 18 April 2014

An interesting and well-written biography is key to promoting yourself as a musician

String players shouldn’t put up with badly written, out-of-date biographies put together by agents, argues Helen Michetschläger. Do it yourself and reap the rewards

Musicians often complain that their work is not valued. There are concerns that audiences are getting older, particularly in areas such as chamber music. Press coverage of classical music has dwindled...

Focus Thursday, 17 April 2014

Rules for successful buskers

Summer provides the richest time for musicians to make money from impromptu outdoor performance. Experienced buskers tell David Kettle how they go about it, and why the rewards can be greater than you might expect

If you pass someone playing a stringed instrument for money in the street, or in a station, what’s your reaction? Do you think, ‘Poor guy – he’s obviously not good enough to ...

News Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber receives the ISM’s Distinguished Musician Award

The British musician is honoured for his performing achievements and his contribution to music education

British cellist Julian Lloyd Webber has been presented with the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ Distinguished Musician Award in recognition of his performing achievements and his contribution...

Focus Wednesday, 16 April 2014

How to memorise music for performance

With the right concepts and skills, any musician can successfully learn music by heart, as Gerald Klickstein explains

Is memorising worth the effort? For most musicians, it probably is. Not only do performers report feeling greater artistic freedom when playing from memory, but audiences also prefer memorised solos...

Blogs Tuesday, 15 April 2014

6 pieces of advice for performers by violinist Daniel Hope

The soloist, former Beaux Arts Trio member and associate artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival offers tips for musicians on performing and launching a career

Take advice from your mentorsI had the great fortune and privilege of performing over 60 concerts with Lord Menuhin. During the two decades we knew each other, there was not a day with...

News Monday, 14 April 2014

Vadim Repin becomes first soloist to conduct and perform Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto no.1

The violinist stepped in at the Trans-Siberian Arts Festival when scheduled conductor Valery Gergiev was delayed in New York

Violinist Vadim Repin’s Trans-Siberian Arts Festival in Novosibirsk suffered a last-minute no show on Saturday, when Valery Gergiev was delayed in New York. The conductor, who was due to lead ...

Blogs Monday, 14 April 2014

Creating a broad portfolio career rewards both musician and audience

Cellist and baritone Matthew Sharp explains why you should broaden your musical horizons ahead of his RE:naissance festival, celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary, at London’s Kings Place

I'm writing this on the day that, in 1927, Rostropovich was born – cellist, conductor, teacher, pianist, activist, arranger/composer, art collector, one-time Vogue editor. An early...

Blogs Friday, 11 April 2014

Melancholy and perfectionism: South Korea’s love of Western classical music

German violinist Viktoria Elisabeth Kaunzner reports on her experiences teaching in South Korea for the past three years

I have been teaching violin at the German School of Music Weimar (picture 2) at Kangnam University in South Korea since 2011. The students in my class range from ages 19 to 23 and encompass all standards...

News Friday, 11 April 2014

Bonhams to sell Amati violin once owned by Italian dictator Mussolini

The London auctioneers will sell the instrument, priced at £150,000, on 12 May

A Girolamo (Hieronymus) Amati violin, formerly owned by Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini (first picture), is being offered for sale through Bonhams auctioneers in London...

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