Explore our podcast back catalogue with our ten most popular episodes from this year

Are you after some holiday listening? Look no further: here are the ten most downloaded and listened-to podcasts produced by The Strad from 2022. Our extensive back catalogue of episodes is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, as well as below. Enjoy!

The Strad Podcast Episode #48: Noah Bendix-Balgley on performing under pressure as a concertmaster

First concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Noah Bendix-Balgley shares his audition process for winning the top job, as well as his personal experiences playing some of the most challenging, exposed, notorious, yet beautiful concertmaster solos in orchestral repertoire. He shares advice for violinists going for concertmaster auditions, as well as why he believes a concertmaster job is a truly fulfilling role.

The Strad Podcast Episode #46: Billy Tobenkin on starting the cello at 25

Cellist Billy Tobenkin shares his thoughts on starting an instrument as an adult. Billy had a career as a writer and copy editor before delving into the world of cello at the age of 25. 15 years later, Billy works professionally as a cello teacher and performer in LA. He shares his experiences of starting the instrument with no musical background, the challenges faced by adult beginners, as well as words of advice to avoid discouragement.

The Strad Podcast Episode #29: Julia Fischer on Mozart Violin Concertos

Violinist Julia Fischer speaks to online editor Davina Shum about the Mozart Violin Concertos. Find out which one she performed first, as well as her favourite, plus her approaches to teaching the works and performing without a conductor. Julia also speaks about the joy of performing chamber works… as a pianist!

The Strad Podcast #64: Cellist Sophie Kauer on her role in ‘TÁR’

Sophie Kauer is a 21-year-old cellist who features in a new film called TÁR. Directed by Todd Field and starring Cate Blanchett in the title role as Lydia Tár, a monumental figure in classical music, Sophie features as a new recruit in a German orchestra.

It’s not your typical gig coming out of music college – in fact, Sophie is still in the middle of her undergraduate studies! Sophie shares with online editor Davina Shum her experience of scoring a role in a full-length feature film, as well as the challenges that come with not only acting, but delivering the Elgar Cello Concerto in front of a cast and crew. 

The Strad Podcast Episode #57: Augustin Hadelich on Recuerdos and Ricochet

Augustin Hadelich has a new album out now, called Recuerdos  – featuring works by Sarasate, Prokofiev, Britten and Tarrega, brought together, perhaps surprisingly, by a Spanish theme. Augustin explains what draws these pieces together.

The piece that gives the album its name, Recuerdos de la Alhambra  features some rather impressive ricochet bowing on Augustin’s recording. If you struggle with ricochet – let’s be honest, who doesn’t? – then listen out for Augustin’s thoughts and approaches to this technique. 

The Strad Podcast #66: Cellist Anastasia Kobekina on choosing the right strings

Anastasia Kobekina was lucky enough to have the opportunity to help develop For-Tune’s new Opal Gold cello strings, through a series of trials and feedback. Not many string players get the chance to have direct input on their ideal set of strings: Anastasia shares with online editor Davina Shum what she looks for in an ideal string, including the type of sound and playability. 

The Strad Podcast Episode #47: Korinthia Klein on basic instrument maintenance

Luthier Korinthia Klein offers tips to players on keeping instruments in good shape as the seasons change. She illustrates the importance of keeping a level-headed, informed approach when dealing with minor instrument and bow ailments, in an aim to empower players to become responsible caretakers for their instruments.

The Strad Podcast Episode #54: Timothy Chooi on playing Strads

Most people are considered lucky if they get to play a Strad in their lifetime. Violinist Timothy Chooi is lucky enough to have been granted use of two Stradivari instruments within a decade! In 2015 he was loaned the 1717 ‘Windsor-Weinstein’ Stradivari from the Canada Council for the Arts, which he played up until this year, when he was loaned the 1709 ‘Engelman’ Strad from the Nippon Foundation.

Using various analogies, Timothy speaks about his experiences playing these fine instruments, including how despite their mystical status, it’s not always smooth sailing. He also shares how playing old instruments informs his playing of modern instruments and vice versa.

The Strad Podcast Episode #28: Alexandra Conunova on losing her Guadagnini violin

In this exclusive interview with The Strad, violinist Alexandra Conunova shares the traumatic and harrowing story of when her 1785 Guadagnini violin was seized by Moldovan customs officials at Chișinău airport. Hear in her own words what happened on that day, the lengths she went to in order to get her violin back, and what she has learnt from the experience.

The Strad Podcast Episode #56: Richard Markson on teaching tone and sound

Richard is a former student of cello greats Paul Tortelier and Pierre Fournier, and holds a senior fellowship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. He speaks about the importance of singing, organic movement, and listening to a range of music – not just string players! – in an effort to communicate tricky concepts across to students. 

Discover more episodes of The Strad Podcast here

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