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Guy Johnston shares a conversation between two Steven cellists - Isserlis and Doane - who reminsce about their teacher Jane Cowan (1916-2015).

’Most of my mentors studied with Jane Cowan including Steven Doane, Steven Isserlis, Nicholas Jones and David Waterman. Even my uncle, who is an amateur cellist, studied with her,’ Johnston told The Strad.

Johnston studied at with Isserlis at IMS Prussia Cove and with Doane at Eastman School of Music, where he currently teaches.

’I always remember Jane Cowan being quoted during my formative years, and have been keen to share more about this unique lady that I’ve heard so much about. Jane studied with Emmanuel Feuermann, Pablo Casals and Donald Tovey,’ said Johnston, tracing his lineage through Cowan.

’She took over the running of the International Cello Centre in London before moving the centre to her family home, Edrom House, in the Scottish borders. It was during this transition that the Stevens had their first encounter in the 70s, and they share their fascinating stories here about their friendship as well as about the extraordinary legacy of Jane Cowan. It was such a joy to be able to eavesdrop on this conversation.’

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In The Best of Technique you’ll discover the top playing tips of the world’s leading string players and teachers. It’s packed full of exercises for students, plus examples from the standard repertoire to show you how to integrate the technique into your playing.


The Strad’s Masterclass series brings together the finest string players with some of the greatest string works ever written. Always one of our most popular sections, Masterclass has been an invaluable aid to aspiring soloists, chamber musicians and string teachers since the 1990s.


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