LATEST BLOGS

Comment, opinions and reports from The Strad team and leading figures in the string world

Blogs Wednesday, 20 August 2014

How to find a new member for your string quartet

The Wihan Quartet’s fist violinist Leos Čepický describes the process of replacing the ensemble’s longtime viola player

This past June my son, Jakub, became the Wihan Quartet's first new player since our formation thirty years ago. Below is an outline of the process of finding a new ensemble member.A string quartet is...

Blogs Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Correct posture can significantly improve your playing, writes Aaron Rosand

Good standing and sitting positions, and avoiding using a shoulder rest, are all important for optimum performance, says the American violin virtuoso

Have you ever stopped to think that if it looks good it will sound better? Appearance is an important part of the complete package, and more attention should be given to this integral...

Blogs Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Playing with less emotion can create more beautiful music

Putting in more effort does not necessarily mean greater improvement, writes violin professor and soloist Andrej Bielow

Our way of thinking about interpretation develops over time. One year you will play a piece with your coach in a certain way, and ten years later you might have very different ideas about it –...

Blogs Friday, 25 July 2014

5 pieces of advice for playing Bach by violinist Lisa Batiashvili

The artist shares her ideas about performing works of the great Baroque composer

There is no single correct way to interpret BachOne needs to spend some time thinking about how to interpret Bach. I have played his music through the years – thought a lot about...

Blogs Thursday, 24 July 2014

Sally Beamish on writing her war-themed Violin Concerto

With the work’s imminent London premiere by Anthony Marwood at the BBC Proms on 1 August, the composer remembers its ‘difficult birth’

Looking back on the process of writing my Violin Concerto in 1994, I remember it had a difficult birth.  At the time, I had only written one short symphonic work. With no formal training, I pored...

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...

Blogs Monday, 07 July 2014

Bring back violin recitals of the Golden Era, says Aaron Rosand

Recital programmes should be like a well-balanced meal, and always incorporate tasteful virtuoso pieces, argues the American maestro

Recital programmes have changed dramatically over the past 50 years. In the Golden Era when the illustrious greats of the violin world were in their heyday, recital aficionados thronged to hear the ...

Blogs Wednesday, 02 July 2014

Young musicians should be given access to historic instruments

The Jumpstart programme offers a vital service in loaning period instruments to young performers, argues York Early Music Festival artistic advisor and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment leader Kati Debretzeni

You never forget the first time. The first time, that is, of playing an instrument infinitely superior to the one you possess and are accustomed to. You feel you can fly, you can suddenly do things ...

Blogs Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Playing chamber music in adverse conditions can be a useful rehearsal tool

The Strad's assistant editor Pauline Harding performed with her quartet as part of 'Musicircus' at the Aldeburgh Festival ― and fought to be heard in a cacophony of whistling winds, brass bands and bongos

If I were to choose an ideal location for playing string quartets, it would probably be a quiet and spacious room with bright lighting and a good acoustic. There certainly wouldn’t be any loud...

Blogs Monday, 23 June 2014

9 ways for musicians to think like top athletes

Carole Talbot-Honeck earned her Masters degree from The University of Ottawa studying the psychological prerequisites for optimal musical performance. Here, she outlines a number of sporting attitudes, which are of equal value to musicians

1. Love of your professionMy thesis advisor called it simply ‘joy’. Musicians have to remember that love of music is what got them started in the first place and they sometimes...

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