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

Blogs Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Violin finalists announced in Indianapolis

Ariane Todes arrives in time to find out who's through, and to receive some inspiration

I arrived today in Indianapolis just in time for the last semi-final round of the violin competition. It's a quiet city, dominated in the centre by the impressive Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, but...

Blogs Wednesday, 15 September 2010

String quartets for breakfast

Ariane Todes reports from an early morning masterclass with Gábor Takács-Nagy

There can be few better ways to start the day than listening to chamber music. Yesterday I was treated to a breakfast session of Gábor Takács-Nagy coaching the Barbirolli Quartet in the...

Blogs Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Classical musicians have more fun

David Kettle finds the usual musical stereotypes toppling at Kings Place

I was lucky enough to hear three groups we’ve recently featured in the magazine this weekend, at an innovative festival in Kings Place, London.

There were beaming smiles and hugs all round...

Blogs Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Random Routes

Vicky Hancock discovers Michael Vann's roundabout way into bow making

I've just spoken to Canadian bow maker Michael Vann about his workshop for the November issue's My Space article. When we started chatting about how his career started I soon discovered that his route...

Blogs Tuesday, 07 September 2010

A busy week at The Strad

David Kettle sees off another fine issue

A busy week last week, as we were finalising the October issue, as well as the Accessories supplement, and sending them both to the printers. They’re being processed and printed as I write, and...

Blogs Monday, 06 September 2010

And the winner is...

Matthew Rye reveals the winning quartets at Banff

For only the second time in its 27-year history, the Banff International String Quartet Competition has been won by a Canadian quartet. The Cecilia Quartet beat eight other rivals from Europe and North...

Blogs Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Postcard from Banff

Matthew Rye settles in among the elk in the run-up to the string quartet competition

‘What, no food now?’ An audience member overheard at the end of the first evening of the 10th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) jokes to a friend that being here is ...

Blogs Thursday, 19 August 2010

Sports psychology at the ESTA conference

Ariane Todes discovers that string players can learn from golfers

I've just come out of a fascinating talk at the European String Teachers Association conference in Cheltenham. Karen O'Connor from the Birmingham Conservatoire talked about some of the things that string...

Blogs Thursday, 12 August 2010

Random play at the Proms

Ariane Todes asks if classical music is learning from the MP3 shuffle setting

I know it’s rude to stare at people who are different. But at last night’s BBC Proms concert I couldn’t take my eyes off the left-handed cellist at the back of the Danish National ...

Blogs Wednesday, 04 August 2010

Violins on fire

Ariane Todes visits the Cambridge Folk Festival

I’m just back from the Cambridge Folk Festival, where fiddles were truly on fire, despite heavy rain on Saturday night. Seth Lakeman played some songs from his latest album, Hearts and Minds, ...

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