• Sochi

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    Forecasting the future: Postcard from Sochi


    The 13th Winter International Arts Festival in February presented no fewer than seven world premieres, a Beethoven sonata marathon and a double bass extravaganza, writes Peter Quantrill, who met artistic director Yuri Bashmet

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    Masterclass: Henri Demarquette on Franck’s Violin Sonata (Cello Version)


    The cellist looks at the conflicts of French atmosphere and German Romanticism in the first and second movements

  • 1910

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    From the Archive: June 1910


    An anonymous reader remonstrates with The Strad for characterising Marie Hall (below) as the first female violinist of the modern era

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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

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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

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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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    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

  • 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

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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

  • Sascha Lilli and Mischa

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    Free in Spirit


    January 2018 marked the 70th birthday of cellist Mischa Maisky, who celebrated by whizzing round the world in solo and chamber performances with his Maisky Trio, featuring daughter Lily and son Sascha.Peter Quantrill caught up with him in London, Istanbul and Verbier

  • Vilde Frang cover photo

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    Playing with the Straight and Narrow


    Vilde Frang has made a name for herself with her playfully ethereal musical style and unconventional approach to programming. Charlotte Gardnertalks to the Norwegian violinist about her latest recording and her unusual route to success

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    Musical Emissaries


    The Shanghai Quartet celebrates its 35th anniversary during the 2018–19 season by performing eight complete Beethoven cycles around the world. The players speak to Charlotte Smithabout forming at a time when Western chamber music was barely understood in their native China, and about promoting the art form to Chinese audiences ...

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    From the Archive: April 1920


    Towry Piper (1859–1925) recalls some of the more unusual habits of violinists, observed during his many years of writing for The Strad

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    Masterclass: Augustin Hadelich on Beethoven’s Violin Concerto first movement - part 2


    The German–American violinist considers ensemble, character and line in the first movement of this great Classical work, in the second of two articles

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    Where there’s a will there’s a way


    During two months in Uganda, Pauline Harding learns about the indigenous one-stringed endingidi, and discovers how difficult it can be to learn an instrument in a country whose education system lends little support for arts training

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    Anne-Sophie Mutter: The Big Picture


    For Anne-Sophie Mutter, Beethoven’s 250th anniversary is the perfect time for a season of concerts dedicated to his works. The project follows her recent recording collaboration with film composer John Williams – yet as different as the two ventures sound, there is far more that unites than divides them, as ...

  • Fiona Bonds - Associate Principal Viola [378]

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    Academy of St Martin in the Fields at 60: One Big Family


    The Academy of St Martin in the Fields celebrates its 60th anniversary this season with a 60-CD box set of its celebrated recordings, and tours to Europe and the US. Toby Deller speaks to some of the orchestra’s long-standing string players about working together democratically and the artistic transition from ...

  • Photo B Menut25 (c) Aurianne Skybyk

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    Session Report: A Voyage of Discovery


    French composer Benoît Menut’s new concept album of songs and chamber works takes its listeners on a single, continuous journey across the sea. He and cellist Patrick Langot speak to Tom Stewart about the project

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    Masterclass: Augustin Hadelich on Beethoven’s Violin Concerto first movement - part 1


    In the first of two articles, Augustin Hadelich looks at direction and flow in the first movement of this notoriously simple and yet deceptively difficult work

  • Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 14.18.09

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    From the Archive: March 1940


    Paganini researcher S. L. Salzedo gives his effusive first impressions of the violinist’s birthplace Genoa, as well as his initial thoughts on seeing ‘Il Cannone’

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    Making a Full Quartet of Instruments: Matches Made in Heaven?


    It’s both a privilege and a challenge to build a quartet of instruments that are intended to be played together from the start. Peter Somerford speaks to players and makers to discover both the pitfalls and the opportunities

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    Pablo Casals: Boundless Expression


    The legacy of Pablo Casals is alive and well in the cello playing of today – and can be traced primarily 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

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    Session Report: Freedom of Choice


    For Jack Liebeck, recording the Brahms and Schoenberg violin concertos has felt like a homecoming – a chance to reflect on the life of his grandfather, and to appreciate the liberties we enjoy today, as he tells Harry White

  • Fig_4_Cork Stretching

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    William C. Honeyman: The People’s Violin Man


    During the 19th century there was an upsurge of interest in violin playing in Britain. At its centre, writes Kevin MacDonald, was the Scottish violinist and writer William C. Honeyman – purveyor of string secrets to the masses and perhaps the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes

  • Johan Dalene conductor Daniel Blendulf and producer Jens U. Braun

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    Session Report: Violinist Johan Dalene makes his recording debut


    For his debut album as an exclusive BIS artist, Johan Dalene – teenage winner of last year’s Carl Nielsen International Competition – has not shied away from ambitious and much-loved repertoire. He and producer Jens U. Braun recall the recording process 

  • Karen and Kim

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    Karen Tuttle: The Violists’ Champion


    Violists, particularly in the US, regard Karen Tuttle as a pioneer of pedagogy, tirelessly committed to improving the playing freedom of her students. As this month marks the 100th anniversary of her birth, Carlos María Solare pays tribute to her career, teaching methods and formidable strength of character

  • Screen Shot 2020-01-03 at 16.37.59

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    Masterclass: Moray Welsh on Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata first movement


    Moray Welsh looks at the cello version of the first movement, whose successful execution requires boundless musicality, lyricism and technical finesse

  • Screen Shot 2020-01-03 at 16.15.33

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    From the Archive: February 1930


    In his regular ‘Continental Happenings’ column, the acerbic George Cecil rounds up some of the more unusual string-related news and performances around Europe

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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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    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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    Jerry Horner: A Virtuoso Teacher


    In February last year, former Fine Arts Quartet violist Jerry Horner died at the age of 83. China Conservatory of Music violin professor and past Horner student James Dickenson reflects on the career and teaching legacy of a fine mentor, drawing on interviews with Horner’s students and colleagues, and with ...

  • AFCM14.1101_copyright Andrew Rankin

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    Retirement from Performance: A Change of Pace


    Is there a time when we should admit defeat, acknowledge our age and put our instruments away for good? Or is it possible to keep enjoying, playing and sharing music forever? Pauline Harding talks to musicians young and old about falling standards, failing physiques and a joy of playing music ...

  • golani 2

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    Sentimental work: Rivka Golani on Michael Colgrass’ Chaconne


    As well as giving the first performance of Michael Colgrass’s Chaconne, the Israeli violist provided the initial spark of inspiration – with the help of her own paintings

  • Kuusisto with flamenco dancer

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    New possibilities


    From Baroque to electronics, Pekka Kuusisto can’t stop exploring new possibilities. PETER SOMERFORD finds out how the Finnish violinist’s perspective on music has evolved

  • Glass Fain photo Brian Hall

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    Track changes


    Following the emergence of minimalist music in 1960s America, some of the style’s most enduring works have been written for strings, among them Steve Reich’s Different Trains. Pwyll ap Sion finds out how performers overcome the technical and psychological challenges of playing this music

  • Carducci Quartet Photo Tom Barnes

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    Seeing the light


    This August the musicians of the Carducci Quartet will take on one of the great quartet challenges when they mark 40 years since Shostakovich’s death by performing his complete quartet cycle in a single day. They share their reasons for doing so with Chloe Cutts

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    My favourite things


    Norwegian cellist TRULS MØRK reveals the figures, instruments and recording that mean the most to him

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