All Premium ❘ Feature articles

  • sartory 1
    Premium ❘ Feature

    Sartory and the fake bows: Phoney war

    2020-01-16T14:33:00Z

    One of France’s greatest bow makers,Eugène Sartory sued an unscrupulous American dealer who flooded the market with fake bows. Using the original court transcripts and contemporary news reports, Gennady Filimonov uncovers how the Frenchman sought justice

  • zimmermann 1
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    Making Sense Of The Senseless: Leila Josefowicz on B. A. Zimmermann’s violin concerto

    2020-01-16T13:28:00Z

    As Leila Josefowicz explains, the unexpected twists and turns of B. A. Zimmermann’s Violin Concerto make it a rollercoaster worth riding. Tom Stewart finds out more

  • thibout 7
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    Jacques-Pierre Thibout: violins fit for a king

    2020-01-16T11:04:00Z

    One of the key Parisian luthiers of the early 19th century, Jacques-Pierre Thibout had a distinctive – and often innovative – making style. Florent and Serge Boyer examine ten of his violins to track its evolution, and show why he became luthier to King Louis-Philippe

  • philippe 2
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    Bruno Philippe: Sky’s the limit

    2020-01-14T17:24:00Z

    This month, young French cellist Bruno Philippe releases his first album as an official Harmonia Mundi artist. He chats with Charlotte Gardner about the merits of gut strings, old instruments versus new ones, inspirational teachers, his public image – and leaving behind the competition circuit to focus on real life ...

  • kuusisto 1
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    Pekka Kuusisto, a green violinist

    2020-01-14T09:51:00Z

    Elegy for the Forest , Pekka Kuusisto’s short film made in collaboration with Greenpeace, aims to build awareness of deforestation. He speaks to Peter Quantrill about combining art and activism

  • pressenda 6
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    Pressenda: Combined impact

    2020-01-14T09:51:00Z

    Despite his instruments showing very little difference in form, Giovanni Francesco Pressenda was one of the most idiosyncratic – and innovative – Italian luthiers of the 19th century. Drawing on 20 years of research, Tsutomu Miyasaka reveals how his style reflected both the French and Italian makers of his day ...

  • nagyvary 5
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    Fingerboards: The lighter option

    2020-01-13T16:44:00Z

    While the acoustics of the violin soundbox have undergone rigorous testing, the neck and fingerboard have been virtually ignored. Joseph Nagyvary reveals the results of experiments showing that a lighter material might be preferable to the standard ebony

  • double bass 1
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    The singing, humming, whistling, hollering, growling, storytelling bassist

    2020-01-13T15:53:00Z

    During the past half-century many works have been written for vocalising double bassists. Lisa Mezzacappa delves into this highly creative phenomenon

  • weinberg 1
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    Gidon Kremer on Mieczysław Weinberg: Testament to turbulent times

    2020-01-13T14:28:00Z

    This year marks a century since the birth of Polish–Soviet composer Mieczysław Weinberg. Violinist Gidon Kremer tells Tom Stewart why he has become one of the composer’s greatest champions

  • sheku 1
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    Sheku Kanneh-Mason: First steps in fame

    2020-01-13T10:55:00Z

    Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason won BBC Young Musician in 2016 and performed at last year’s royal wedding. Pauline Harding witnesses him in his role as an ambassador for an educational music charity, and speaks to him about his short but intense career so far

  • persoit 3
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    Persoit, the illusion solution

    2020-01-09T15:02:00Z

    One of the most mysterious French bow makers, Persoit had a number of idiosyncrasies that give his works a uniquely light appearance. Through a detailed study of a single bow, Paolo Sarri shows his creative answer to the problem of bulky heads

  • tan hemsing 2
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    Tan Dun and Eldbjørg Hemsing: the folk connection

    2020-01-09T13:41:00Z

    Chinese composer Tan Dun’s new concerto for Norwegian violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing draws on traditions common to the homelands of both artists. Andrew Mellor speaks to them about this latest in a series of collaborations

  • naples 1
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    The gain in Spain: German makers in Naples

    2020-01-09T12:57:00Z

    In the 16th century, many European cities saw an influx of makers from Germany – and the cultural milieu and civic policies of Spanish-held Naples proved particularly attractive. Luigi Sisto explains how the expatriate community laid the groundwork for the city’s lutherie tradition

  • fuessen 3
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    At the dawn of it all: making in Füssen

    2020-01-09T12:47:00Z

    Nowadays best known for its neo-Gothic castles, the town of Füssen in southern Germany has possibly the oldest lutherie tradition of any in the country. Thomas Riedmillertraces its influence, from the foothills of the Alps to England, Vienna and Prague

  • zorman-1-full-Jamie-Jung-761x1024
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    Itamar Zornam, voice for Israel

    2020-01-09T10:21:00Z

    Violinist Itamar Zorman’s new recording highlights the transition from European to Middle Eastern influences in the works of Paul Ben-Haim, as he tells Gavin Dixon

  • staar 1
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    Alfred Staar: sound master

    2020-01-07T17:51:00Z

    As a leading proponent of the Viennese sound, Alfred Staar’s influence continues to be felt today – no fewer than 22 of his former students currently hold posts in the Vienna Philharmonic. Inga Brandini shares a conversation with the great professor from 15 March 2000, shortly before his death a ...

  • stainer 1
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    Jacob Stainer: reviewing the situation

    2020-01-07T16:25:00Z

    It has long been assumed that Jacob Stainer received some training in Cremona – but the theory rests on slim evidence. Rudolf Hopfner explores a middle-period violin using micro-CT technology to cast doubt on what we think we knowWolfgang Schneiderhan

  • hadelich 3
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    Augustin Hadelich: brilliant concepts

    2020-01-07T15:05:00Z

    Since winning the Indianapolis Competition in 2006, violinist Augustin Hadelich has built a reputation for musically astute interpretations in wide-ranging repertoire, much of it written in the 20th and 21st centuries. He speaks to Chloe Cutts about his latest recording – an unusual pairing of Brahms and Ligeti

  • yoga tadasana
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    Yoga and string playing: …And breathe…

    2020-01-06T17:01:00Z

    There is a close connection between yogic principles and string playing technique, says cellist Ruth Phillips, who illustrates this with postures chosen in collaboration with her colleague Jane Fenton, and reveals how both Pablo Casals and yoga guru Vanda Scaravelli have informed her musical ideas

  • arvedi
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    Varnish analysis: shining examples

    2020-01-06T16:21:00Z

    Identifying the varnish recipes of the early makers has been a long-held dream among researchers. Now, a team at the Arvedi Laboratory of Non-Invasive Diagnostics, headed by Marco Malagodi, has used a new form of micro-CT scanning to delve further into an instrument’s coatings than ever before