Playing debates

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    Opinion: The power of imagination

    2022-05-18T08:28:00Z

    To enhance a pupil’s learning, it is useful to build a list of words and catchphrases that conjure images relating to different techniques. Jeffrey Howard introduces his own ‘violin vocabulary’

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    Opinion: A New Deal for Early Music

    2022-05-09T08:01:00Z

    Covid-19 has highlighted the economic inequalities that divide musicians who perform on period instruments from the majority of today’s string players, says Andrew Mellor

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    Focus

    Opinion: Reset, refresh, restore

    2022-04-08T06:51:00Z

    As teachers and pupils return to in-person lessons, cellist Naomi Yandell examines why it is more important than ever to re-examine students’ goals and priorities, and take nothing for granted

  • Vibrato
    Focus

    Why can't players get vibrato right?

    2022-03-03T10:00:00Z

    Vibrating need not compromise purity of tone if it's done tastefully, says Tully Potter, who takes to task those who overplay, misplay or completely disown it. From October 2009

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    Opinion: It takes three

    2022-02-23T09:34:00Z

    As the Sitkovetsky Trio celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, lead violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky looks back at the lessons he and his colleagues have learnt

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    Focus

    Opinion: Live for the moment

    2022-02-21T14:14:00Z

    Classical musicians and audiences can learn from stand-up comedy shows, where there’s a naturalness and immediacy of interaction between performers and the crowd, writes Rita Fernandes

  • Cosmin
    Focus

    Opinion: To speak plainly

    2022-01-07T12:15:00Z

    Teaching a young student with Down’s syndrome has taught Jacqueline Vanasse the value of simple concepts and hands-on rewards

  • Quatuordiotima6
    Blogs

    9 tips on playing the Ravel and Debussy quartets

    2022-01-01T00:00:00Z

    Franck Chevalier, viola player of the Quatuor Diotima, gives advice on how to approach the most celebrated French additions to the quartet repertoire

  • DudokQt
    Focus

    Opinion: Playing the game

    2021-12-14T11:40:00Z

    In addition to technical mastery, musicians need to understand the ‘game rules’ of every performing tradition and musical culture, write Dudok Quartet Amsterdam musicians Judith van Driel and David Faber

  • JulianLloydWebber
    Focus

    Opinion: Dare to be different

    2021-11-15T12:00:00Z

    When selecting repertoire for that crucial audition it’s an advantage to avoid predictable choices, writes Julian Lloyd Webber, who suggests alternatives for cellists

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    Focus

    Opinion: Across the decades

    2021-10-12T11:45:00Z

    Karen Gomyo revisits recordings by ‘golden age’ violinists, and explores why these performances are still so meaningful today

  • Hsin-Yun Huang
    Focus

    Opinion: Relaxed body, focused mind

    2021-08-04T13:00:00Z

    The art of Chinese calligraphy has much to teach us about playing a stringed instrument, writes violist Hsin-Yun Huang

  • SoloComposers
    Premium ❘ Debate

    Opinion: Solo exploring

    2021-06-30T11:00:00Z

    There is so much more to the unaccompanied violin repertoire than the works of Bach, Paganini and Ysaÿe, writes James Dickenson

  • BowingOpinion
    Debate

    Opinion: An integrated whole

    2021-06-10T14:03:00Z

    By divorcing technique from the music, we prevent the bow from becoming an extension of our right arm and hand, writes John Crawford

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    Debate

    Opinion: Touching a nerve

    2021-03-15T12:28:00Z

    Although nervous energy can lead to inspired playing, it can also result in performance anxiety – unless we find ways to control it, writes cellist Laura van der Heijden

  • Debussy
    Debate

    Opinion: A new light

    2021-02-11T12:00:00Z

    Debussy’s Sonata for flute, viola and harp is just one of many works written for that combination, and is a prime example of how loosening fixed traditions can open new and exciting sound worlds, writes Toby Deller

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    Debate

    Building an international profile for French violinists

    2021-01-29T10:22:00Z

    In comparison with its array of top-level cellists and string quartets, France’s violin soloists seem in general to attract less media attention globally. Charlotte Gardner investigates the causes

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    Debate

    Opinion: Defining relevance

    2020-12-24T09:00:00Z

    Classical musicians can feel concerned about their lack of consequence in the ‘real’ world. But, as the pandemic has shown, the art form is needed now more than ever – and it’s up to performers to make the case, writes Andrew Mellor

  • PikeChandos
    Debate

    Opinion: Original and the best?

    2020-11-05T16:15:00Z

    Scouring the archives for early drafts is fine in the name of research, but when it comes to performance, the composer’s revised version is usually the more satisfying option, writes Charlotte Gardner 

  • PatKop
    Debate

    Opinion: From the Heart

    2020-07-20T10:17:00Z

    In the Covid-19 crisis, musicians have begun to film their playing from home. Andrew Mellor asks whether these raw and sometimes less-than-pristine performances have killed off classical music’s ‘cult of perfection’