LATEST BLOGS

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

Blogs Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Pizzicato technique is often neglected, says violinist Jennifer Pike

There are many ways to vary sound and colour, but beware the perils of playing forte for sustained periods

Pizzicato technique can be neglected: people look at it and think, ‘Oh, it’s pizz, nobody’s going to hear.’ But actually there are many different...

Blogs Thursday, 18 September 2014

Video: how I came to play Pablo Casals’s 1733 Goffriller cello, by Amit Peled

The Israeli artist tells of his first encounter with Casals’s cello in 2012, and how he came to be loaned the instrument by Marta Casals Istomin. Watch a clip of him playing the instrument below.

I met Mrs Marta Casals Istomin and the historic 1733 Matteo Goffriller cello of her late husband, Pablo Casals in 2012. The idea of seeing that instrument up close was hard for me to grasp. How could...

Blogs Thursday, 11 September 2014

Performing from memory has given our string quartet new life

After twelve years together, playing and recording from memory were key to an exciting rebirth for the Chiara Quartet, writes cellist Gregory Beaver

Recently, the Chiara String Quartet has begun to perform most of our works by heart. In many ways, this has been the best thing we’ve ever done. When we first decided to give this idea a go, we...

Blogs Wednesday, 10 September 2014

7 ways to build a 21st-century music career by Time for Three

Violinists Zach De Pue and Nick Kendall, and double bassist Ranaan Meyer talk about their path to success

Experiment with different styles and genresZach: We believe it’s important for young classical musicians today not only to have an awareness of other genres, but also to experience...

Blogs Friday, 29 August 2014

Recording your performance can be more of a hindrance than a help

Israeli cellist and teacher Hillel Zori on the importance of listening in the present

I don’t encourage students to record themselves: the musicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries never did, and they were still great players. I’m always afraid that recording oneself...

Blogs Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Overtones and resonance: why stringed instruments allow you to feel the music

When physicist and engineer Keith Williams began learning the cello, he was able to feel for the first time theoretical sound waves and vibrations

I first played the cello on a visit to see my dear friend and luthier, Oded Kishony. His charming little shop occupies the lower level of his home in the woods near Barboursville, Virginia. There, Kishony...

Blogs Thursday, 21 August 2014

12 words of wisdom on practice and performance by Burton Kaplan

The Manhattan School of Music pedagogue offered the following guidance to violinist Ariane Todes when she attended his Magic Mountain Music Farm Practice Marathon Retreat in upstate New York this summer

‘Music isn’t about right pitches. Pitch is more like impressionist painting marks – you can’t look too close up, you have to look from a distance. The trick is to play patterns...

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...

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 –...

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