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

Blogs Friday, 09 August 2013

Nigel Kennedy's Vivaldi at the BBC Proms

What's it like hearing the 'quasi-punk' violinist in concert for the first time? Our editorial assistant Pauline Harding reports

Last night I had my first Nigel Kennedy experience: Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, at the BBC Proms. Kennedy’s orchestra comprised a student ensemble from Palestine, the Palestine Strings...

Blogs Wednesday, 07 August 2013

Scaling the wall in Beijing

The ninth Great Wall International Music Academy, which took place in Beijing in July, forged connections both musical and social between young musicians from east and west that will enrich their careers, says Nancy Pellegrini

When two consummate educators share the same vision, everyone wins. And when Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music professor Kurt Sassmannshaus and the late, great Chinese violin pedagogue ...

Blogs Monday, 05 August 2013

A Brief Survey of Summer Festivals Without All the Bother of Joining a String Quartet – Part 1

American String Quartet violist Daniel Avshalomov begins his blog tour of US festivals with song and dance – both courtesy of larger-than-life choreographer Mark Morris – in Ojai, California

Our cellist Wolfram Koessel had been telling us stories about him for years, so when Mark Morris invited the American String Quartet (ASQ) to join him for performances at this summer’s Ojai Music...

Blogs Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The legend of Stradivari lingers on

Ariane Todes reviews a programme that celebrates the Stradivari mythology rather than challenging it

I’ve often wondered what it must be like to be a doctor watching an episode of a medical drama such as House, ER or Casualty. Would I be throwing sharp objects at George Clooney over his surgical...

Blogs Friday, 21 June 2013

Face to face with Stradivari's finest

Philip Kass gives an expert's guide to the Ashmolean's landmark Stradivari exhibition

Blockbuster exhibitions are a staple of the museum world these days. Ever larger collections of essential masterpieces, set out so as to reveal new insights into an artist’s career, are assembled...

Blogs Monday, 17 June 2013

Lessons with Szigeti

Arnold Steinhardt tells Ariane Todes about learning from the master

I’ve just had a fascinating hour on the phone with Arnold Steinhardt, who was sharing his memories of Joseph Szigeti for our October issue. Fifty-one years after he studied with Szigeti one summer...

Blogs Sunday, 16 June 2013

James Ehnes, Charles Beare and three Strads at the Sheldonian

Ariane Todes reports from a fascinating evening for violin lovers

Who, in an ideal world, would be allowed to play the Stradivaris? I’ve often pondered this, usually while listening to an average-sounding performer whose main marketing point is their Strad. ...

Blogs Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Equal-opportunities looksism applies

Male players are under as much pressure as women to look good, argues Ariane Todes

There has been some debate in the press recently about the pressure put on female players to ‘sex-up’. Kiri Te Kanawa was interviewed talking of the pressure on opera singers to be thin...

Blogs Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The indomitable musical spirit of Ida Haendel

Ariane Todes listens to a new CD by the great violinist

No one would go to an 80-something-year-old heart surgeon for open-heart surgery. But thankfully musicians can continue making music more or less forever, and continue to provide musical aid to those...

Blogs Tuesday, 04 June 2013

Should string players astonish or please?

Ariane Todes discovers a 1904 review that raises questions still raging today

Doing some research for our October issue (an exciting project about which more soon) I came across this review of Bronislaw Huberman's London debut in the November 1904 issue of The Strad.


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