FOCUS

Ariane Todes selects her favourite stories and interviews from The Strad website and beyond

Focus Tuesday, 18 March 2014

What conductors want from their string players, by Sir Antonio Pappano

Conductors want more than a fantastic technique, the British conductor tells Ariane Todes

What do you consider the perfect string section in terms of the way it functions and its sound?I need to hear a feeling of movement in the section, a flexibility that creates a tone...

Focus Monday, 17 March 2014

Why historic recordings deserve more air time

Broadcasters routinely neglect and patronise historic recordings made by some of the greatest-ever string players, in favour of modern ones. They’re failing in their duties, according to Tully Potter

Imagine walking into the National Gallery and finding that all exhibits dating from before 1960 had been packed away, because some officious curator had decided they were too old to interest you. Well...

Focus Friday, 14 March 2014

How well did Shakespeare know the violin?

The word ‘violin’ never appears in Shakespeare’s plays, but he left tantalising clues that he knew the instrument well. To mark the Bard's 450th anniversary this month, we republish an article by John Dilworth from 2009

It has to be said straight away that the connection between the Bard and the violin is tenuous. The word ‘violin’ never appears in all his work, as far as I can find out. Viols, lutes, trumpets...

Focus Friday, 14 March 2014

How a hand injury impacted cellist Julian Steckel emotionally as well as physically

The international cello soloist and chamber musician on his recovery from a motorbike accident

How did you injure your hand?

It happened in June 2005 when I was studying in Vienna with Heinrich Schiff. I had just finished an intensive chamber music festival in Heimbach...

Focus Wednesday, 12 March 2014

8 opinions on performance and career by violinist Ivry Gitlis

The great violinist reveals his sometimes surprising views on performance and the music business to Ariane Todes to mark his 90th birthday in The Strad’s August 2012 issue

On learning repertoireI was never a workaholic, except when I had to work really hard, for example when I agreed to record the Paganini caprices. I had never played them all, so I would...

Focus Monday, 10 March 2014

Is the golden age of violin making just an illusion?

Robert Lewin, The Strad’s long-serving writer on the violin market, considers the ‘old versus modern’ question in this article from 1964

I recently gave a small dinner-party to some chamber music friends, and the viola player, after doing ample justice to the expensive viands put before him, perpetuated some unkindly denigrating reflections...

Focus Friday, 07 March 2014

Who were the early female violinists?

Women soloists have long struggled against prejudice and indifference in the male-dominated musical establishment. But, as Tully Potter explains, The Strad has taken an enlightened approach to the sexes throughout its history

From the start, The Strad treated men and women equally; its pages chronicled the steady rise of female soloists and they were often treated to feature articles or picture profiles. In the first issue...

Focus Thursday, 06 March 2014

6 ways to avoid an angry soloist

Growing numbers of musicians are speaking out against bad audience behaviour, finds Charlotte Smith

The subject of audience etiquette has long been a cause of controversy. Are performers too precious and remote if they fail to see the funny side of the man snoring in the front row? Does the expectation...

Focus Wednesday, 05 March 2014

From the archive: who was the first female violinist?

The Strad marks International Women's Day 2014 with this gem from the archives, in which our writer of 1894 ponders the name of the first violinist 'of the fair sex'

Who was the first female violinist? This is no conundrum; nor do we offer a prize for the first correct answer to the question. All the same, it would be interesting to know the name of the first of...

Focus Wednesday, 05 March 2014

Ask the Experts: helping double-jointed students

Strad readers submit their problems and queries about string playing, teaching or making to a panel of experts

In the third of the series, five teachers and health specialists respond to a reader's query on how best to teach a double jointed student.Do you have a burning question about...

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