All Premium ❘ Feature articles – Page 2

  • Assortment
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    Shoulder Rests: The Ideal Fit


    Freelance violists Edmund Riddle and Kathi Von Colson join The Strad ’s editor Charlotte Smith and contributing editor Pauline Harding to test a range of shoulder rests – and discover enormous differences in weight, balance and comfort

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    Sitting Pretty: Chairs for Musicians


    Musicians take great time and care to find the best instrument accessories, but rarely give the same consideration to the ideal chair. Anyone who cares about their posture, comfort and health would do well to pay more attention, writes Harry White

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    Unvarnished Instruments: Team Building


    For luthiers, finely sourced white instruments may well be the perfect accessory – offering the double opportunity for varnishing practice and to sell less expensive models to students and those with shallower pockets. But, writes Peter Somerford, the issues of provenance and labelling are of utmost importance when marketing such ...

  • 7.4lb box
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    String Recycling: New Life from Old Strings


    The structure and shape of strings make them difficult and costly to recycle. But that hasn’t stopped some manufacturers from tackling the challenge, and even extracting metal from old strings to use in new ones, writes Tom Stewart

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    Napoleonic Bows: French Connections


    Several violin, viola and cello bows still survive from the Imperial Court Orchestra of Napoleon III. Gennady Filimonov examines their history, and provides evidence that the so-called ‘Napoleonic-type bows’ originated with the first Emperor rather than the third

  • T17530_Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist & composer   c 1863_extend
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    Sarasate Letters: Beloved Mother


    During a two-year concert tour of America, violinist Pablo Sarasate corresponded with his adoptive mother Amélie de Lassabathie in Paris. His surviving letters have been translated for the first time into English by Nicholas Sackman and Bastien Terraz, who present a digest of their contents

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    Working with Conductors: Natural Balance


    When playing a concerto, the string soloist is rarely fully in charge – and working with opinionated conductors means that sometimes disagreements will occur. Charlotte Gardner speaks to three top performers and a conductor to find out how to strike the right balance

  • 3 ATE
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    An Amati Mystery


    Could the cello shown here be one of the eight ‘bass violins’ ordered by Catherine de’ Medici for the court of Charles IX of France? Luthier Filip Kuijken explores the known history of the instrument and considers whether it could be an original Andrea Amati – or a clever fake ...

  • CD_Tetzlaff
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    Tetzlaff Quartet: The Real Beethoven


    The members of the Tetzlaff Quartet, who recently released their first Beethoven disc, talk to Tom Stewart about what’s really behind the composer’s late quartets, about why they’ve taken a quarter of a century to record any Beethoven – and the challenge of keeping up appearances

  • Lavazè 18 novembre (19)
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    130th Anniversary: Taking Stock


    As The Strad celebrates its 130th anniversary this month, stringed instrument expert Philip Kass looks at the future of the industry, while music journalist Charlotte Gardner examines what might be on the cards for players

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    Career in Bloom: Tabea Zimmermann


    For Tabea Zimmermann, 2020 represents a new flowering in her musical life. Amanda Holloway speaks to the German violist about directing her final Beethoven-Woche, her new recording projects, expanding the viola repertoire and imparting her wisdom to the next generation

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    Luthiers and RSI: Taking the Strain


    For instrument makers, repetitive strain injuries can mean untold pain and misery – and possibly the end of their career. Luthier Cameron Robertson explains how, with the help of occupational therapist Sara Propes, he adapted his work process to guard against the problems of RSI in the future

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    Music Therapy: A Different Way to Help


    Music therapy can be a fulfilling profession for any musician looking to make a significant impact in the community. Violinist and music therapist Joy Gravestock outlines the routes to this rewarding career and describes a typical day in the field

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    Baroque Set-up: In a Land without Rules


    With the growth in popularity of historically informed performance, more players are requesting Baroque-style instruments – but the process of converting an instrument is fraught with uncertainty. Sarah Peck presents an overview of the Baroque set-up process, and corrects some common misconceptions along the way

  • Archive
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    From the Archive: May 1890


    In the early days of The Strad, many of the stories were taken from other publications. The very first issue brought readers these two gems from the Daily Telegraph and The American Musician

  • Smirnoff
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    Technique: Legato and Lyricism


    Ideas to help you grow your sound and articulate every note within each bow

  • Quartet
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    Masterclass: Liisa Randalu on Smetana’s Quartet no.1, ‘From My Life’


    Violist Liisa Randalu of the Schumann Quartet gives her perspective on the first movement of the Czech composer’s passionate and dramatic semi-autobiographical work

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    Making Matters: In search of the ‘missing link’


    Stefan Hersh examines a Tourte-school bow that might provide a connection between the master bow maker’s conventional style and the earlier Cramer-head bows 

  • Preuss
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    My Space: Andreas Preuss


    Tokyo, Japan

  • LucaBarrato
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    Trade Secrets: Repairing damaged blocks


    A conscientious method that preserves as much information as possible for future restorers