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Top stories from the string music world

Focus Monday, 21 July 2014

Are modern instrument cleaners better than their past equivalents?

Turpentine, garlic and warm beer were all ingredients in instrument cleaners of the past. Are modern cleaners any better? Padraig ó Dubhlaoidh examines a far from spotless history

My dictionary defines ‘accessory’ in two ways: firstly, as ‘an additional or extra thing – contributing or aiding in a minor way – dispensable’ and secondly, as one...

News Monday, 21 July 2014

Top lots from June London and Vichy stringed instrument auctions

Gaglianos and a Peccatte shone in the sales

In contrast to the failed sealed-bid auctions in June of the ‘Kreutzer’ and ‘Macdonald’ Stradivaris, the regular sales that month in...

News Monday, 21 July 2014

London Symphony Orchestra musicians to appear in ‘Addicts’ Symphony’ documentary

The programme, to be broadcast on Channel 4 in August, features LSO Discovery’s work with ten addicts

Members of the London Symphony Orchestra will appear in a Channel 4 documentary about addiction and the ‘transformative power of music’ in late August. ‘Addicts’ Symphony&rsquo...

News Friday, 18 July 2014

German radio orchestra merger looking increasingly likely

The Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra and Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra are set to unite in 2016

It is looking ever more probable that a merger between the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra, based in Baden-Baden and Freiburg, and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra will go ahead in 2016...

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...

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