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

Focus Monday, 10 February 2014

Ask the Experts: how to look after your bow

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

In the second of the series, four bow makers respond to a reader's query on how best to look after his new bow.

Do you have a burning question about string playing, ...

Focus Friday, 07 February 2014

Aaron Rosand on finding the perfect set of strings

Finding the best strings for your instrument can take years of trial and error. The American violinist reflects on his ongoing journey to discover the perfect set

I clearly remember an incident from when I was around twelve years old. I performed in a recital at the Chicago Musical College (now the Chicago College of Performing Arts) where I was studying with...

Focus Wednesday, 05 February 2014

8 pieces of advice for happy string quartets

Words of instruction and inspiration from the pages of The Strad

‘At whatever age and level of accomplishment the players may be, the basics of quartet playing are the same, and they are principally to do with communication. First young players have to learn...

Focus Tuesday, 04 February 2014

A potted history of Dragonetti – the ‘Paganini of the double bass’

He was Europe’s first – and the world’s finest – virtuoso double bassist, who was admired by Beethoven and granted favour by Napoleon. But the story of Domenico Dragonetti is shrouded in intrigue: who was the man they called ‘Il Drago’?

1763: Born in Venice, the son of a poor barber who plays the kettle drums. As a child he receives violin instruction from a local shoemaker, who persuades him to take up the bass. &lsquo...

Focus Friday, 31 January 2014

Bringing true ensemble playing to your string quartet

In the following excerpt from an article on string quartet playing, published in The Strad, April 1908, our writer offers advice on achieving cohesion – and interest – in your group playing

When once a quartet is formed, intuitive playing together ought to be the main idea to which the players should devote their attention. If four good instrumentalists were set down to perform a quartet...

Focus Wednesday, 29 January 2014

When Stradivarius violins go AWOL

In this article from The Strad, February 2011, Peter Somerford looks into the murky world of international Stradivarius violin theft, and the efforts being made towards recovery and prevention

Losing a Stradivarius must rank high among a violin virtuoso’s worst nightmares. As Korean violinist Min-Jin Kym found out recently when her Stradivarius was snatched as she grabbed a sandwich...

Focus Tuesday, 28 January 2014

7 ways to improve your tone

The elusive and deeply personal subject of tone production is pondered in the following quotes taken from the pages of The Strad over the past 100 years

1 A beautiful tone requires feeling

‘The whole musical impression which we create by our tone must have its origin in ourselves, in our soul, and we cannot expect to have...

Focus Monday, 27 January 2014

Alma Rosé: the violinist who brought music to Auschwitz

She was the niece of Mahler who rose above the terror of Birkenau to bring music to her fellow prisoners. To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, The Strad revisits Richard Newman’s article on the violinist Alma Rosé, who died 70 years ago

Alma Rosé’s last journey began in the inhumanly packed cattle cars of a Nazi ‘Judentransport’, Convoy 57, from Paris’s Bobigny station at 9am on 18 July 1943. For the ...

Focus Saturday, 25 January 2014

My violin heroine Maud Powell, by Rachel Barton Pine

American violinist Rachel Barton Pine will pay tribute to the achievements of her compatriot Maud Powell (1867–1920) at the 56th Grammy Awards this weekend, when the Recording Academy ...

Focus Friday, 24 January 2014

Remembering cellist Jacqueline du Pré

To mark the great British cellist's birthday on January 26, we revisit four tributes by fellow musicians, published a few months after her death from multiple sclerosis in October 1987

Yo-Yo Ma, cellist

Jackie was always the most exciting cellist. It would be hard to think of another that took as many risks as she did. She was like a tight rope performer, and...

serene violin solo pre-1917
Hi folks. For a story I'm writing I'd like suggestions for the most serene and...
I want to try some new strings on my violin. It's English, 1875, and has quite...
violin left hand position
I have a new student , quite advanced, who has a 'double jointed' left thumb...
Electric violin and bows stolen in London
My friend John Garner's asking for help regarding his electric violin. Please...
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