LATEST BLOGS

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

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 witness and 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

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 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 –...

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 ...

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