The Shanghai Quartet talks to us about celebrating their 35th anniversary, China, Beethoven, and their instruments

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May 2019 issue

The Shanghai Quartet is the cover star of The Strad’s May 2019 issue, out now. The pioneering ensemble celebrates its 35th anniversary during the 2018/19 season by performing eight complete Beethoven cycles around the world. The players talk to us about forming at a time when Western chamber music was barely understood in China, and about promoting the art form to Chinese audiences and students today

Julia FischerVadim Gluzman and Gidon Kremer join us for a discussion about Shostakovich’s violin works; in our Session Report we join Trio con Brio Copenhagen in the studio as they work on their 20th-anniversary project, a recording all of Beethoven’s piano trios; plus we learn about useful parallels between the principles of Yoga and string playing technique.

We also report from Stradfest, our first event for young string players.

In the first of two articles, Philip Ihle and Andrea Zanrè present the results of a survey matching up Antonio Stradivari’s violins with the twelve surviving moulds from his workshop; plus, by analysing instrument fragments, a team led by Marco Malagodi reveals the secrets of varnishes by Stainer, Maggini, Gasparo da Salò and others

In our regular sections:

Our monthly Masterclass is from Philippe Graffin on Ravel’s Violin Sonata no.2 in G major; violinist Ilya Kaler gives his thoughts on playing continuous vibrato in Technique; violist Maxim Rysanov tells us his Life Lessons; plus Rivka Golani’s love of Michael Colgrass’s viola concerto Chaconne in Sentimental Work.

In Focus features a violin made in 1937 by the Genoa-based luthier Paolo De BarbierWilliam Castle’s detailed and intricate method for cutting f-holes in Trade Secrets; My Space features the workshop of Dutch luthiers Jaap Bolink and Annelies Steinhauer; and in Making Matters we hear the story of an opulent case that once housed the ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivari.

We also bring you news of the latest competitions, products and auctions, and comprehensive reviews of concerts, CDs and books.

In the May 2019 issue