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Top stories from the string music world

Focus Thursday, 17 July 2014

How to balance physical, mental and emotional aspects of your playing

Playing an instrument is not just a physical feat – it requires a musician’s hands, head and heart to work together in perfect combination. Pedro de Alcantara explains how to achieve better coordination between the three

We tend to compartmentalise different aspects of our lives. Into one box we put things that we consider physical: the body, movement, posture, tension and relaxation. Into a second box goes all that...

Focus Thursday, 17 July 2014

6 insights into teaching the double bass by Mary Condliffe

The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama professor shares her methods for teaching bass students

Encourage relaxation and flexibility from the outsetI get beginner pupils comfortable with holding the bow and moving it, making sure they’re relaxed and not gripping. I aim for...

Blogs Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Lorin Maazel – a personal tribute by New York Philharmonic principal cellist Carter Brey

The orchestral musician remembers the great conductor, who died this week

There is a wonderful story from many years ago concerning the late John Martin, longtime principal cellist of the National Symphony in Washington DC, and Lorin Maazel, who was guest conducting there...

News Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Video: Violinist Itzhak Perlman campaigns for universal polio vaccination

The artist contracted the disease when he was four years old

Itzhak Perlman appears in a new video recorded by Reuters, campaigning for universal vaccination against polio. The violinist, who joined Rotary International’s End Polio Now drive in January ...

Focus Tuesday, 15 July 2014

7 pointers for perfect pizzicato

Advice on plucking and strumming from 120 years of The Strad

Many cellists feel that pizzicato is simply plucking the string and they give little thought as to how to do so. Within the musical context, however, there are a variety of reasons that pizzicato is...

News Monday, 14 July 2014

Conductor, composer and violinist Lorin Maazel has died aged 84

The American maestro forged an international career for 75 years

Conductor, composer and violinist Lorin Maazel died yesterday from complications following pneumonia at his home in Virginia. The 84-year-old had forged a world-class career for over 75 years, conducting...

News Monday, 14 July 2014

Violinist Nicola Benedetti breaks UK chart top 20 with her new album

Not since Vanessa Mae and Nigel Kennedy has a solo British violinist featured in the top 20 pop chart

Nicola Benedetti has become the first solo British violinist since the 1990s to enter the top 20 of the Official UK Albums Chart. Her new record ‘Homecoming: A Scottish Fantasy’ was released...

News Monday, 14 July 2014

UK lutherie student receives Special Award from Rowan Armour-Brown Memorial Trust

The inaugural award recognises students of particular potential

Dutch luthier Sam Brouwer, a student at the UK’s Newark School of Violin Making, has been granted a Special Award of £1,000 from the Rowan Armour-Brown Memorial Trust – the first time...

Focus Friday, 11 July 2014

Are quartets of matched instruments the way to perfect harmony?

Four instruments from the same tree, varnished from the same pot, played by a single quartet. Does this make a better ensemble? Katherine Millett investigates

Television cameras greeted the Miró Quartet’s arrival at Alice Tully Hall, New York, in February 2003. ABC News ran an evening feature about the concert and the New York Times raved about...

Focus Thursday, 10 July 2014

6 tips for teaching young violinists by Suzuki instructor Teri Einfeldt

The University of Hartford Suzuki Department chair shares her methods for teaching children

Encourage parental involvementI ask all potential students and their parents to observe six beginner-level lessons before they start. This way the child and the parents can see what...

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