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Watch excerpts from American composer Todd Mason’s new violin concerto, performed by Dutch violinist Tosca Opdam and the Budapest Scoring Orchestra, conducted by Peter Illényi.

Described as ’a violin concerto for the 21st century,’ Mason’s new work was composed during the pandemic and aims to create a captivating musical tale in one continuous 24-minute movement.

’Reflecting on what it meant to write a concerto today, I wanted to create a true adventure for the soloist, orchestra and listeners, celebrating virtuosity but above all, creating a compelling musical story,’ says Mason.

A Los Angeles native, Mason received his master’s from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Elliott Carter, Peter Mennin and David Diamond. He  received the Rodgers & Hammerstein Juilliard Scholarship, Juilliard’s Marion Freschl Award for a composition for voice and orchestra, the First Place Award in the National Federation of Music Clubs, First Place in the Lancaster Summer Arts. His Chamber Suite recently won the First Place Award in the American String Teachers Association 75th Anniversary Composition Contest.

Violinist Tosca Opdam won First Prize in the 2011 Oskar Back Violin Competition. Subsequently she performed at the Royal Concertgebouw and returned for a sold-out debut recital and a performance in honour of the re-opening of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Her 2015 performance as part of the Liberation Day Concert on the Amstel River, with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima in attendance, was broadcast live on Dutch national television. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2018 and enjoys a busy international performance career.

Opdam earned a master’s degree from the Juilliard School, studying with Catherine Cho, Patty Kopec and Sylvia Rosenberg. She plays a Matteo Gofriller violin from 1700, which is generously on loan to her by a private collector.

The album featuring Mason’s Violin Concerto and Chamber Suite for String Orchestra will be released on Ulysses Arts on 29 September 2023.

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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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