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2020-05-21T08:33:00+01:00By Peter Quantrill
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
2020-05-21T03:48:00+01:00By Pauline Harding
The cellist looks at the conflicts of French atmosphere and German Romanticism in the first and second movements
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
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
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
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
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
2020-04-18T20:00:00+01:00By Pauline Harding
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
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 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
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 ...
2020-03-17T20:52:00+00:00By Pauline Harding
The German–American violinist considers ensemble, character and line in the first movement of this great Classical work, in the second of two articles
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
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 ...
2020-03-04T11:45:00+00:00By Toby Deller
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 ...
2020-03-04T11:39:00+00:00By Tom Stewart
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
2020-02-18T04:34:00+00:00By Pauline Harding
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
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
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
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
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
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
2020-01-22T04:34:00+00:00By Pauline Harding
Moray Welsh looks at the cello version of the first movement, whose successful execution requires boundless musicality, lyricism and technical finesse
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
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
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
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