All Premium ❘ Feature articles – Page 5

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    Smart learning: technology in the classroom


    Advances in technology over the past few years have led to an explosion in apps and online platforms designed to aid instrumental teaching and practice. Peter Somerford looks at some of the most useful – but cautions that such tools should never be used to substitute rhythmic and aural skills ...

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    Daniel Müller-Schott: souvenir of Russia


    Cellist Daniel Müller-Schott reveals how his album of Russian repertoire draws on the inspiration he felt as a participant in the 1992 International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians

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    Renzo Bacchetta, a legend in the making


    Renzo Bacchetta’s wide-ranging influence on Cremona’s violin making culture and the promotion of Stradivari cannot be overstated, but as Luca Bastiani reveals, there is a darker side to the story, centring around Italy’s National Fascist Party

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    Isabelle Faust: clarity and insight


    German violinist Isabelle Faust is known for the precision and intelligence of her performances. She talks to Amanda Holloway about how her new album of Mozart sonatas has brought her face to face with the enigma of the composer’s musical language

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    Sartory and the fake bows: Phoney war


    One of France’s greatest bow makers,Eugène Sartory sued an unscrupulous American dealer who flooded the market with fake bows. Using the original court transcripts and contemporary news reports, Gennady Filimonov uncovers how the Frenchman sought justice

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    Making Sense Of The Senseless: Leila Josefowicz on B. A. Zimmermann’s violin concerto


    As Leila Josefowicz explains, the unexpected twists and turns of B. A. Zimmermann’s Violin Concerto make it a rollercoaster worth riding. Tom Stewart finds out more

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    Jacques-Pierre Thibout: violins fit for a king


    One of the key Parisian luthiers of the early 19th century, Jacques-Pierre Thibout had a distinctive – and often innovative – making style. Florent and Serge Boyer examine ten of his violins to track its evolution, and show why he became luthier to King Louis-Philippe

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    Bruno Philippe: Sky’s the limit


    This month, young French cellist Bruno Philippe releases his first album as an official Harmonia Mundi artist. He chats with Charlotte Gardner about the merits of gut strings, old instruments versus new ones, inspirational teachers, his public image – and leaving behind the competition circuit to focus on real life ...

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    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

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    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 ...

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    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

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    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

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    Gidon Kremer on Mieczysław Weinberg: Testament to turbulent times


    This year marks 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

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    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

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    Persoit, the illusion solution


    One of the most mysterious French bow makers, Persoit had a number of idiosyncrasies that give his works a uniquely light appearance. Through a detailed study of a single bow, Paolo Sarri shows his creative answer to the problem of bulky heads

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    Tan Dun and Eldbjørg Hemsing: the folk connection


    Chinese composer Tan Dun’s new concerto for Norwegian violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing draws on traditions common to the homelands of both artists. Andrew Mellor speaks to them about this latest in a series of collaborations

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    The gain in Spain: German makers in Naples


    In the 16th century, many European cities saw an influx of makers from Germany – and the cultural milieu and civic policies of Spanish-held Naples proved particularly attractive. Luigi Sisto explains how the expatriate community laid the groundwork for the city’s lutherie tradition

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    At the dawn of it all: making in Füssen


    Nowadays best known for its neo-Gothic castles, the town of Füssen in southern Germany has possibly the oldest lutherie tradition of any in the country. Thomas Riedmillertraces its influence, from the foothills of the Alps to England, Vienna and Prague

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    Ébène Quartet: The Freedom of Instability


    Currently making international appearances to mark Beethoven’s 250th birthday as well as celebrating 20 years since its foundation, the Ébène Quartet is riding high now that violist Marie Chilemme has become an established member. But, the players tell Charlotte Gardner, replacing former violist Mathieu Herzog was no easy matter following ...

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    Vuillaume's Early Years: The Making of a Master


    Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume was the most successful French luthier of his time, but the first years of his career are still shrouded in mystery. Jonathan Marolle examines some of his earliest instruments to uncover the evolution of his technique and style