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

Blogs Thursday, 01 May 2014

How to be successful in an orchestral audition

London Symphony Orchestra first violinist Maxine Kwok-Adams offers tips for string candidates to coincide with The Strad’s May 2014 feature on preparing for orchestral auditions

What is a panel looking for primarily from the orchestral excerpts?

The main things I am looking for when I sit on an audition panel are quite simple – good rhythm...

Blogs Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Violinist Roman Mints on overcoming a career-threatening ganglion

The Russian musician was forced to withstand ten needle treatments to drain the recurring cyst – and was advised to keep playing throughout his ordeal

It’s a musician’s worst nightmare to wake up with a pain in his hand. I had devoted the whole of my conscious life from the age of five to a career as a professional violinist; there is ...

Blogs Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Violinist Aaron Rosand on improving bow technique

In the latest in his series on violin technique the American maestro discusses the art of the bow and the importance of a relaxed right hand to produce a good sound

To improve your playing, your principal practice should be confined to the use of the bow in order to achieve complete command in the execution and expression of the music to be played. How you draw...

Blogs Tuesday, 15 April 2014

6 pieces of advice for performers by violinist Daniel Hope

The soloist, former Beaux Arts Trio member and associate artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival offers tips for musicians on performing and launching a career

Take advice from your mentorsI had the great fortune and privilege of performing over 60 concerts with Lord Menuhin. During the two decades we knew each other, there was not a day with...

Blogs Monday, 14 April 2014

Creating a broad portfolio career rewards both musician and audience

Cellist and baritone Matthew Sharp explains why you should broaden your musical horizons ahead of his RE:naissance festival, celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary, at London’s Kings Place

I'm writing this on the day that, in 1927, Rostropovich was born – cellist, conductor, teacher, pianist, activist, arranger/composer, art collector, one-time Vogue editor. An early...

Blogs Friday, 11 April 2014

Melancholy and perfectionism: South Korea’s love of Western classical music

German violinist Viktoria Elisabeth Kaunzner reports on her experiences teaching in South Korea for the past three years

I have been teaching violin at the German School of Music Weimar (picture 2) at Kangnam University in South Korea since 2011. The students in my class range from ages 19 to 23 and encompass all standards...

Blogs Tuesday, 08 April 2014

When a Stradivarius costs $45m, creating an ‘Art Fund’ for musical instruments is vital

Association of British Orchestras director Mark Pemberton makes the case for a national musical instrument bank in the UK to ensure world-class instruments are not merely the preserve of rich investors

A Stradivarius viola (pictured) made the headlines last month with an asking price of $45m (£27m) at a forthcoming Sotheby’s sale. Next to that stratospheric figure,...

Blogs Monday, 07 April 2014

Violinist Jack Liebeck on weaving a story in Kreisler encores

Liebeck has teamed with pianist Katya Apekisheva to release an album of Kreisler compositions and arrangements on Hyperion. Here he describes the selection and recording process.

When I first suggested to Hyperion Records that they had a gap in their catalogue with a lack of any works by Fritz Kreisler, I did so without thinking of the workload!  Just choosing the pieces...

Blogs Friday, 04 April 2014

Russian violin teacher Yuri Yankelevich on how to achieve quick reflexes in your playing

Yankelevich believed that violin playing is based on key physiological principles. In preparing the English translation of his works, Masha Lankovsky takes a look at some of his suggestions

Many great pedagogues have observed that one should play with the ‘head” and not with the ‘hands’, but consciousness goes beyond just understanding the purpose and nature of ...

Blogs Thursday, 03 April 2014

Class and race should not be barriers to a classical music education

American violinist Tai Murray introduces some of the themes of her talk on ‘Class, Race and Classical Music’ with political activist Candace Allen at the English Speaking Union next week

I am back in London on Sunday 6 April for a coffee concert at Wigmore Hall. On Wednesday 9 April I will join Candace Allen – author of 'Soul Music: The Pulse Of Race And Music' &ndash...

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