Following high-profile performances and competitive success, Sheku Kanneh-Mason is becoming an important role model.

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March 2019 issue

The Strad March 2019 issue is out now, with Sheku Kanneh-Mason as the cover star. In a wide-ranging interview, he discusses competition success, royal weddings and getting used to a role model status.

We learn about Giovanni Francesco Pressenda from Tsutomu Miyasaka who draws on his observations of more than 200 instruments by the Turin maker to show how his unique style blends French and Italian influences; and we examine the acoustic properties of fingerboards made from different materials, in an effort to find alternatives to traditional ebony.

Gidon Kremer marks 100 years since Mieczysław Weinberg’s birth, and tells us why he thinks the works still resonate in the 21st century; Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto discusses his partnership with Greenpeace to draw attention to the plight of the Great Northern Forest; we explore the fascinating subgenre of works which required double bassists to sing and speak; and we get a full report from last year’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

In our regular sections:

In Focus features a violin made in Argentina by the Italian-born luthier Alfredo Del Lungo; Hayato Nagaishi details his hassle-free and accurate method of neck setting in Trade Secrets; My Space features the workshop of Swedish luthier Fredrik Nilsson; and in Making Matters we examine new research into the Corsby family of English instrument makers.

Our monthly Masterclass is from Steven Tenenbom on the first two pieces in Schumann’s Märchenbilder; Cellist Hans Jørgen Jensen presents exercises for fast, tension-free playing in Technique; American cellist Lynn Harrell tells us his Life Lessons; plus two traditional Japanese songs evoke memories for Anne Akiko Meyers in Sentimental Work.

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

In the March 2019 issue

  • Steven Tenenbom

    Masterclass: Steven Tenenbom, Schumann Märchenbilder

    The American viola soloist, chamber musician, and teacher explores how to find your own sense of character and flow in the first two contrasting pieces. From March 2019

  • Lynn-Harrell-02-Photo-by-Chad-Badka

    Life Lessons: Cellist Lynn Harrell

    The American cellist looks back at the beginnings of his life as a musician in this article from 2019

  • kuusisto 1

    Pekka Kuusisto, a green violinist

    Elegy for the Forest, Pekka Kuusisto’s short film made in collaboration with Greenpeace, aims to build awareness of deforestation. He speaks to Peter Quantrill about combining art and activism

  • weinberg 2

    Gidon Kremer on Mieczysław Weinberg: Testament to turbulent times

    2019 marked a century since the birth of Polish–Soviet composer Mieczysław Weinberg. Violinist Gidon Kremer tells Tom Stewart why he has become one of the composer’s greatest champions

  • huddersfield

    Postcard from Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival: Subversion in sound

    Tom Stewart travels to the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival to hear music that brings the world to the strong quartet - and vice versa

  • nagaishi 1

    Trade secrets: An innovative method of neck setting

    Gluing the neck to the ribs before the top and back plates allows for a more accurate and hassle-free process. By Hayato Nagaishi, luthier based in Cremona, Italy, and Tokyo, Japan

  • pressenda 6

    Pressenda: Combined impact

    Despite his instruments showing very little difference in form, Giovanni Francesco Pressenda was one of the most idiosyncratic – and innovative – Italian luthiers of the 19th century. Drawing on 20 years of research, Tsutomu Miyasaka reveals how his style reflected both the French and Italian makers of his day

  • del lungo 2

    In focus: a 1972 violin by Alfredo del Lungo

    Alfredo Del Lungo began studying the art of violin making at the workshop of his father, Giuseppe Del Lungo (1883–1926), while also taking cello lessons at the Conservatorio Cherubini in Florence. In 1933, aged 24, he was appointed official luthier to the Stabile Orchestrale Fiorentina, which soon became the Orchestra ...

  • nagyvary 5

    Fingerboards: The lighter option

    While the acoustics of the violin soundbox have undergone rigorous testing, the neck and fingerboard have been virtually ignored. Joseph Nagyvary reveals the results of experiments showing that a lighter material might be preferable to the standard ebony

  • double bass 1

    The singing, humming, whistling, hollering, growling, storytelling bassist

    During the past half-century many works have been written for vocalising double bassists. Lisa Mezzacappa delves into this highly creative phenomenon

  • sheku 1

    Sheku Kanneh-Mason: First steps in fame

    Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason won BBC Young Musician in 2016 and performed at last year’s royal wedding. Pauline Harding witnesses him in his role as an ambassador for an educational music charity, and speaks to him about his short but intense career so far

  • Hans Jørgen Jensen

    Technique: Velocity studies with Hans Jørgen Jensen

    Some musicians love playing fast. Others struggle with it, both psychologically and physically: they can’t control their tempo, they play too loudly, their fingers collapse and lose their natural curvature, they have unnecessary tension in different parts of the body, they make facial grimaces, or they lift their fingers too ...

  • Anne Akiko Meyers

    Sentimental Work: Anne Akiko Meyers on traditional Japanese songs

    A brace of traditional songs from Japan bring back fond memories and inspire a wealth of interpretations for the American violinist