We recommend some of our favourite talks from the last few years


For anyone wanting a peek into the minds of the world’s most interesting thinkers, TED (meaning Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks are a powerful resource. There are over 1,000 talks on the TED website with more than 1m views, including some fascinating videos on violin playing. We particularly like these five.


Violin’s human emotion

Born without his right hand, Adrian Anantawan is a Canadian violinist who has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and at the White House. Here he talks about the rewards and challenges of learning to play the violin with a disability, finishing with an excerpt from Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. 



Striking a chord

Nicola Benedetti talks about her journey as a violinist, from picking up the violin at the age of four, to winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year award in 2004, and explains why she feels a responsibility, as an international star, for passing on what she has learnt. 



How learning the violin brought meaning to my life

Drawing on his experiences as a soloist, stories from musical history and a quick performance, Charlie Siem puts forward the case that learning an instrument has many parallels with being successful in everyday life.



Reading the score like a book

The violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen explores the parallels between reading a book and reading a musical score, and plays music by Haydn and Ravel with her string quartet.


A violin in the most unlikely places

The Portuguese violinist Nuno Santos talks about his passion for playing his instrument on some of the world’s most unlikely stages: the highest mountains and the biggest ocean waves.