The Strad marks 100 years since the birth of the pioneering American viola pedagogue Karen Tuttle with an appraisal of her influential teaching methods

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During a teaching career that spanned six decades, the US violist and pedagogue Karen Tuttle formed generations of players with a teaching style tailored to the individual. A century after Tuttle’s birth, our writer Carlos Maria Solare traces her life and methods.

A commission from a professional quartet to build a matched set of instruments is a rare privilege for a luthier. Our writer speaks to players and makers about the considerations and opportunities creating and performing on matched quartets brings.

The legacy of Pablo Casals is alive and well in cello playing today, and can be traced to the methods of his colleague Diran Alexanian and favourite student Maurice Eisenberg. Oskar Falta explores the Catalonian cellist’s main vibrato theories, as communicated by his two important associates.

Tonewoods used for violin making have traditionally come from Europe, where ideal conditions have given old Italian violins their incomparable sound. But a new study comparing European and Chinese tonewoods has produced some startling conclusions.

British violinist Jack Liebeck explores the connection between his family history and Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto op.36, in a recording that pairs the work with the Brahms Concerto.

The 19th-century saw a surge in interest in violin playing in Britain, and the singular Scottish violinist and writer William C. Honeyman was at the centre of it. Kevin MacDonald investigates the ‘people’s violin man’ - and perhaps the inspiration behind Sherlock Holmes.

In our regular sections:

The issue’s Masterclass comes from Augustin Hadelich, on the first movement of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto; in Technique violinist Wendy Case gives a guide to violin resonance and physics; British violist Timothy Ridout offers his Life Lessons; plus in Sentimental Work Leonidas Kavakos shares his love for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Our Postcard this month comes from the Highgate International Chamber Music Festival in London.

In Focus examines a 1926 violin by Jeromos Cigl; Cremonese luthier Andrea Schudtz has a method for adding decorative inlay in Trade Secrets; My Space peeks behind the scenes at the workshop of British luthier Daniel Bristow; and in Making Matters Lloyd McCaffery offers a modern take on the ancient art form of carved heads.

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

Plus, in your digital edition: 

  • View more from the Highgate International Chamber Music Festival, including extra photo of Alexander Sitkovetsky, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Ashok Klouda, Gary Pomeroy and many more

  • Read Jack Liebeck’s thoughts on his latest recording of the Brahms and Schoenberg violin concertos, while listening to audio clips from both – then enter our competition to win the CD

  • Extra photos of this month’s In Focus instrument, a 1926 violin by Jeromos Cigl

  • Look around British luthier Daniel Bristow’s Dickensian workshop in My Space, with photos all the way around

  • Lloyd McCaffery describes the process of head carving in Making Matters, and presents more images of two completed instrument heads

  • And as ever, clips from the three recordings bestowed with this magazine’s most coveted accolade: ‘The Strad Recommends’ 

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