Philippe Graffin, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Benoît Rolland and Paul Tortelier all feature in a French-focused edition


On sale now, the February issue of The Strad has a French theme, with violinist Philippe Graffin gracing the cover. Inside, he discusses repertoire, finding new audiences, and his latest project marrying the twin art forms music and poetry. We also explore Soundpainting, an innovative way of making music that originated in 1970s America but has become increasingly popular among the musicians of Paris. Plus, a new series on Great Cellists begins with Paul Tortelier, one of the leading lights of cello playing in the 20th century.

Elsewhere, we explore alternative musical styles such as jazz, folk and Bluegrass – and ask what classical string players can learn from experimenting with such genres. Renowned bow maker Benoît Rolland traces the life and career of Joseph Lafleur, the 19th-century Parisian archetier whose innovative methods provide inspiration for makers today. And we investigate how the attractions of Paris are luring young luthiers away from the traditional centres of French instrument making, and what it means for makers in Montpellier, Mirecourt and Angers.

In our regular sections: Jean-Jacques Kantorow reveals his lifelong relationship with Tartini's 'Devil's Trill' Sonata in Sentimental Work; Jens Stenz examines a 1759 Antonio Bagatella viola in In Focus; cellist Raphael Wallfisch gives hints on playing Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations; bow makers discuss the fixing of a wobbly frog in Ask the Experts; there's a Practice Diary from the Brodsky Quartet's violist Paul Cassidy; David Folland gives his method for wood ponding in Trade Secrets; and Baroque violinist Simon Standage gives tips on bow control.

Plus, we bring you news of the latest competitions, products and auctions, and comprehensive reviews of concerts, CDs and books.

The digital magazine is on sale now. The print edition is on sale from Friday 30 January 2015. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial. To purchase single issues click here