Opinion: To speak plainly


Teaching a young student with Down’s syndrome has taught Jacqueline Vanasse the value of simple concepts and hands-on rewards



Opinion: Playing the game


In addition to technical mastery, musicians need to understand the ‘game rules’ of every performing tradition and musical culture, write Dudok Quartet Amsterdam musicians Judith van Driel and David Faber

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‘‘I'm not saying that I wouldn't ever listen to a performance of Bach on steel strings – I would, and I might enjoy it – but, for me, it has to be gut’
UK cellist Steven Isserlis discusses his new Bach companion and recording an album of solo works by British composers.

‘The Greek cross on the label evokes the lutherie traditions of Cremona’
Examining Guadagnini's 1773 'Cozio' viola from the start of the maker's Turin period.

''When the legs are free to move as we play, the stability and strength of the back is enhanced, also allowing better poise of the head on the neck''
Going down different Alexander technique 'pathways' can help all kinds of string players.

''There's always a direct line from the audience to us, and there's nowhere to hide'' Alexander Gilman, artistic director of the LGT Young Soloists on the group's new recording of Philip Glass.

If Stradivari had used different wood for his 1715 'Titian' violin what difference would it make to the sound?

''If you've got the energy and a few good ideas, this is the moment when you can get noticed'' Opportunities for young musicians in a post-Covid world .



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    Opinion: Dare to be different


    When selecting repertoire for that crucial audition it’s an advantage to avoid predictable choices, writes Julian Lloyd Webber, who suggests alternatives for cellists

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    Opinion: Across the decades


    Karen Gomyo revisits recordings by ‘golden age’ violinists, and explores why these performances are still so meaningful today

  • Hsin-Yun Huang


    Opinion: Relaxed body, focused mind


    The art of Chinese calligraphy has much to teach us about playing a stringed instrument, writes violist Hsin-Yun Huang

  • SoloComposers

    Premium ❘ Debate

    Opinion: Solo exploring


    There is so much more to the unaccompanied violin repertoire than the works of Bach, Paganini and Ysaÿe, writes James Dickenson

  • BowingOpinion


    Opinion: An integrated whole


    By divorcing technique from the music, we prevent the bow from becoming an extension of our right arm and hand, writes John Crawford

  • LvdH_Performing


    Opinion: Touching a nerve


    Although nervous energy can lead to inspired playing, it can also result in performance anxiety – unless we find ways to control it, writes cellist Laura van der Heijden

  • Debussy


    Opinion: A new light


    Debussy’s Sonata for flute, viola and harp is just one of many works written for that combination, and is a prime example of how loosening fixed traditions can open new and exciting sound worlds, writes Toby Deller

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    Building an international profile for French violinists


    In comparison with its array of top-level cellists and string quartets, France’s violin soloists seem in general to attract less media attention globally. Charlotte Gardner investigates the causes

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    Opinion: Defining relevance


    Classical musicians can feel concerned about their lack of consequence in the ‘real’ world. But, as the pandemic has shown, the art form is needed now more than ever – and it’s up to performers to make the case, writes Andrew Mellor

  • PikeChandos


    Opinion: Original and the best?


    Scouring the archives for early drafts is fine in the name of research, but when it comes to performance, the composer’s revised version is usually the more satisfying option, writes Charlotte Gardner

  • PatKop


    Opinion: From the Heart


    In the Covid-19 crisis, musicians have begun to film their playing from home. Andrew Mellor asks whether these raw and sometimes less-than-pristine performances have killed off classical music’s ‘cult of perfection’

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    After Corona, pay inequality among musicians will be unsustainable


    The great disparity in wages between soloists and rank-and-file musicians has been highlighted by the Covid-19 crisis, writes Andrew Mellor

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    Opinion: Go your own way


    Musicians today are encouraged to play it safe by a recording culture that encourages perfect homogeneity. But, writes violist Paul Neubauer, it is still possible for individuality to thrive

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    Opinion: ‘The cello has never been more popular’

    2020-03-12T12:41:00+00:00By Yoshika Masuda

    In the years since Gregor Piatigorsky first set out to boost the cello’s profile, the instrument has seen a massive growth in popularity, particularly through the efforts of crossover artists, says Yoshika Masuda

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    Opinion: In the Public Eye


    The primary purpose of a musician is to be heard by an audience – yet so many performers are self-conscious about the idea of their practice being observed and judged. Perhaps it’s time to practise out in the open, writes Toby Deller

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    Premium ❘ Article

    Opinion: going international


    Despite the large number of young and talented British string players, few seem to make an impact as leading soloists on the world stage. Charlotte Gardner explores the reasons for this phenomenon

  • Repeat_Practice

    Premium ❘ Feature

    Is repetitive practice a good or a bad thing?


    A prolonged, sickening and monotonous repetition of a section of music or the legitimate means of mastering a difficult passage? Joseph O'Doherty weighs up the two sides.

  • Federer violin


    Classical musicians should play more sports


    String players often shy away from sports for fear of damaging themselves, but the benefits far outweigh the dangers, says cellist and tennis enthusiast Maria Kliegel

  • Mozart_Family

    Premium ❘ Debate

    Early vibrato was one aspect of a vastly different sound world


    A response to Beverly Jerold’s article 'Did early string players use continuous vibrato?' by Kevin Class

  • Vibrato

    Premium ❘ Debate

    Why can't players get vibrato right?


    Vibrating need not compromise purity of tone if it's done tastefully, says Tully Potter, who takes to task those who overplay, misplay or completely disown it

  • Bach_Period

    Premium ❘ Debate

    Historically informed performance on modern instruments is misguided


    Historically informed performance is all well and good, argues Julian Haylock, but continuing to play on modern instruments just results in the worst of both worlds

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