About us

Published in May 1890, the first issue of The Strad featured Joseph Joachim, the violinist to whom Brahms dedicated his Concerto. Since then, players such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mischa Maisky and many more besides have brought their insight and expertise to the pages of the magazine. The Strad is an indispensible guide for string players, teachers and instrument makers alike, featuring expert advice and practical guidance each month from celebrated luthiers working with traditional techniques and the latest technological advances. Authoritative, trusted and influential, The Strad is available in print and digital editions.

Editorial team

Charlotte Smith, editor

Born in Australia, Charlotte hails from a family of musicians with whom she performed chamber music from a young age. She earned a degree in violin performance from London's Royal College of Music, followed by an MA in English from Cambridge University. Before becoming editor of The Strad she worked for Gramophone and as a freelance writer. In her spare time she continues to play chamber music at corporate events and weddings, and to go to the cinema as often as she can.

Christian Lloyd, managing editor

Christian is the former editor of both International Arts Manager magazine and the Performing Arts Yearbooks. He takes care of the In Focus, Trade Secrets, My Space, Making Matters and Sentimental Work sections of The Strad, as well as all feature articles relating to instruments and lutherie, the book reviews and the news pages.

Davina Shum, online editor

New Zealand-born cellist Davina Shum has enjoyed a freelance performing and teaching career since moving to the UK to join the Southbank Sinfonia in 2013. With a particular interest in broadcasting, Davina has contributed to the BBC Radio 3 podcast Time Travellers as well as running her own podcast As It Comes: Life from a musician’s point of view. Away from the cello and The Strad, Davina enjoys bouldering, vegetable gardening and retro video games.

Marija Duric-Speare, sub editor

Apart from bringing her knowledge as a cellist to The Strad, Marija has long had a passion for music history, having written an original thesis on the elder Cervetto for her first degree and gained an MMus in historical musicology at King's College London. She works for other music publications too (RMA journal; Gramophone), and enjoys swimming, walking, watching films and reading fiction.

Pauline Harding, contributing editor

Pauline started playing the violin when she was four years old and studied music at the York University. She decided she wanted to be a writer when she was six, and so The Strad has been the perfect place for her to combine her passions. Outside the office, she is working for a doctorate in African archaeology at University College London.

Rita Fernandes, editorial assistant

Rita is an Australian-Swiss King’s College London and Conservatoire of Lausanne music graduate. Other than writing, she plays violin and conducts, with a particular interest in contemporary classical music. Outside of music, she enjoys attending stand-up comedy shows and exploring the bottomless pit that is Netflix documentaries.


Mariette King, advertising manager

Mariette was born in France and brought up in Lebanon, Australia and the UK. Her career in advertising mirrors her international background and has encompassed broadcast, print and digital. She wanted to work at The Strad since it combined music, fine literature and the opportunity to meet and share her knowledge of advertising with such talented people. In her spare time she enjoys baking and aromatherapy.

Jeremy Fordrey, senior account manager

Jeremy is The Strad’s senior account manager with media experience across a wide and diverse range of markets. He studied and gained a Diploma of Management Studies at Kingston University and is a keen amateur musician playing guitar and electric bass. Through working with The Strad he has discovered the joys and wonders of live and recorded classical music.

Angela Lyons, art editor

Angela Lyons is The Strad's art editor. She studied at Central Saint Martins and has over 20 years' experience as a graphic designer. Working with The Strad team she has discovered lots of new music and outside work enjoys looking at art and keeping fit.

Philip Ihle, lutherie consultant

Tully Potter, historical consultant

Current online issue


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‘I want to explore great repertoire and believe I have something to add; I have a unique voice and feel it should be heard’
US violinist Chad Hoopes on making unconventional career choices, and sharing his knowledge with the next generation of players.

‘I can certainly understand why an artist who has met obstruction at every level would feel angry’
Why are black musicians still under-represented in the US classical music world? We talk to string players across the country about how things could change.

'Should we copy what we see now, incorporate personal preferences, or adapt to the wood differences?'
Will a Stradivari copy sound like a Strad?

''The objective was Bach, not Biondi'' Violinst Fabio Biondi on his new recording of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas.

With a large and growing music community, the San Francisco Bay Area became a hotbed of violin and bow making talent in the early 20th century.

'The publication of "Traditional" Scottish tunes was a profitable endeavour in the early 18th century' The trend of combining Scots folk melodies and Italian art music grew fashionable in 18th-century drawing rooms.