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Top stories from the string music world

Focus Monday, 16 June 2014

Tips for proper bow maintenance

There’s more to looking after your bow than simply replacing the hair. Peg Baumgartel gives advice on everything from monitoring straightness to identifying cracks

Maintaining your bow is as important as maintaining your instrument, yet many players do not know what this entails beyond replacing the hair. Your bow can bring you countless hours of enjoyment and...

Focus Friday, 13 June 2014

Teaching a stringed instrument you have never played before

What do you do if you’re asked to teach a stringed instrument that isn’t the one you play? ‘Don’t panic!’ That’s the first rule, according to the experts that Ariane Todes asked

There’s a scene in Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall where the hapless hero, sent down from Oxford and taking up employment at a minor public school, is faced with giving organ lessons for...

News Friday, 13 June 2014

Chicago Symphony Orchestra receives two gifts totalling $32m

The endowments of $15m and $17m will support the orchestra’s education programme and the position of music director

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has announced the receipt of two significant gifts, totalling $32m.

The first endowment of $15m comes from the Chicago-based Negaunee Foundation to provide support...

Focus Thursday, 12 June 2014

7 mental techniques to boost your practice

Effective practice without the frustration and drudgery? Piet Koornhot looks at ways to direct your imagination.

We all know the joke about the lost tourist who asks a passer-by in New York, 'How do I get to Carnegie Hall?' and gets the reply, 'Practise, practise!'

Many musicians have resigned themselves...

News Thursday, 12 June 2014

Conductor and former violinist Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos has died aged 80

The artist, who was suffering from cancer, announced his retirement last week

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos has died at the age of 80. The Spanish conductor and composer, who studied violin, piano and composition in his youth at the conservatories of Bilbao and Madrid, announced...

News Wednesday, 11 June 2014

15-year-old cellist Zlatomir Fung wins Klein Competition in San Francisco

The artist receives a cash award and performance opportunities around California

Cellist Zlatomir Fung, aged 15, has won the 29th Irving M. Klein International String Competition in San Francisco. He receives prizes worth $13,400, including a $5,000 cash award, and concerto and ...

News Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Top lots from May London and New York stringed instrument auctions

Instruments by Santo Serafin, Pressenda and Bergonzi triumph in the sales

Instruments by Santo Serafin, Pressenda and Bergonzi were the stars of the May sales in London and New York, but there were some less familiar names in the mix too, among them Alessandro D’Espine...

Focus Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Harnessing breathing to improve your string playing

Breathing naturally is one of the first principles of Alexander teaching - and it's a must for anyone who suffers from stage fright, says Joseph Sanders

These days most musicians have some knowledge of the Alexander Technique. Many have had Alexander lessons at school or college, or have at least heard about it from friends or teachers. When people ...

News Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Nine-year-old wins top prize at international violin competition

Samuel Tan from Singapore was competing against musicians up to the age of 35

Samuel Tan, from Singapore, has won the Postacchini Prize at the 21st International Andrea Postacchini Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy. He was competing for the prize against musicians up to...

Focus Tuesday, 10 June 2014

How to breathe freely when playing a stringed instrument

Ruth Phillips describes how she persuades musicians to rediscover their body and their instrument through the gentle art of inhaling

The in-breath followed by the out-breath is a form of expansion and contraction, which is the essence of bowing; it is receiving and giving inspiration, which is the essence of performance; it is tension...

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