The Strad’s editor Emma Baker introduces the March 2024 issue

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Augustin Hadelich likes to keep himself busy. This star violinist’s secret to remaining fresh and engaged with every concert he plays, as he tells Ariane Todes on page 24, is a broad focus on repertoire. ‘I enjoy every concert so much,’ he says. ‘An ideal career is one where I keep enjoying it this much and never get bored. This is why I don’t restrict myself to a few pieces each season.’

Also in this issue we hear from the Los Angeles-based cellist Laurence Lesser, who has enjoyed a long and rewarding career both playing and teaching. This includes collaborating with 20th‑century legends such as Casals, Cassadó, Piatigorsky and Heifetz. His 85th birthday last year, and a photo he took of Piatigorsky and Casals together in Puerto Rico in 1967, prompted him to write an account of his formative years as a musician. Read it on page 32.

Pierre Rode is known to most violinists for his didactic 24 Caprices, or as dedicatee for Beethoven’s last violin sonata, or perhaps also in the same breath as Baillot and Kreutzer, with whom he collaborated on the seminal Méthode de Violon. But there was more to this French virtuoso, who was born 250 years ago this year. As well as having a colourful personal life and a career full of ups and downs, he left behind 13 violin concertos that deserve to be heard more often. The German violinist Friedemann Eichhorn is a particular champion of these works and has recorded all of them over the past few years. He speaks to Charlotte Gardner on page 46 about why, in this anniversary year, Rode’s compositions deserve a reassessment.

In lutherie this month, Clifford Hall examines the life of Otto Schünemann, a 19th-century German maker who created highly respected instruments, and on page 52 Arnold E. Schnitzer advises on how to set up a double bass – a delicate instrument, despite its size.

Emma Baker editor

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