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Top stories from the string music world

Focus Thursday, 28 August 2014

Why do so many orchestras lag behind the beat?

Even under the best conductors and in the finest orchestras, players tend to drag behind the baton. Evan Johnson looks at the reasons for this universal phenomenon

Conductors often urge orchestras not to play behind their beat, but players, though they may respond by looking more attentive, often continue to lag. Some conductors interpret this as incompetence ...

News Thursday, 28 August 2014

Announcement that Chicago Chamber Musicians will disband is false, say musicians

The society’s board will no longer support the ensemble, but musicians will present 2014-15 season regardless

Contrary to earlier reports, the Chicago Chamber Musicians will continue to give performances during the 2014-15 season, according to violinist and founding member Joseph Genualdi...

Blogs Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Overtones and resonance: why stringed instruments allow you to feel the music

When physicist and engineer Keith Williams began learning the cello, he was able to witness and feel for the first time theoretical sound waves and vibrations

I first played the cello on a visit to see my dear friend and luthier, Oded Kishony. His charming little shop occupies the lower level of his home in the woods near Barboursville, Virginia. There, Kishony...

News Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Jan Vogler and David Garrett named 2014 Echo Klassik winners

This year’s annual awards, given by the German music industry, take place on 26 October

The winners of the 2014 Echo Klassik awards have been announced, with a number of accolades going to string players. Chosen by the German music industry association, the annual awards honour national...

News Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Violin maker and restorer Michael Carlton Byrd has died aged 62

The American worked for J&A Beare for 20 years

London-based violin specialists J&A Beare have announced the death of 62-year-old Michael Carlton Byrd. The American maker and restorer was suffering from cancer.

Byrd...

News Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Two men arrested over the murder of New York violinist Mary Whitaker

The suspects are also charged with home invasion and robbery, and are being held without bail in Chautauqua County Jail, Mayville

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of violinist Mary Whitaker in Westfield, upstate New York on Wednesday last week. 43-year-old Jonathan Conklin and 30-year-...

Debate Monday, 25 August 2014

Young students must learn to listen if they are to practise effectively

String students who struggle in the early stages of learning often don’t know how to listen. Patiently help them to train their ears, says Peter Quantrill, and practice sessions will become ever more fulfilling

Learning to play an instrument is learning to practise. And learning to practise is learning to listen.

My nine-year-old son has just passed his ABRSM Grade 1 cello exam. He has an excellent ...

Focus Friday, 22 August 2014

Ask the Experts: how to deal with a young problem pupil

Strad readers submit their problems and queries about string playing, teaching or making to a panel of experts

In the ninth of the series, four teachers give their thoughts on helping an errant seven-year-old focus on her lessons.

Do you have a burning question about string playing...

Blogs Thursday, 21 August 2014

Recording your performance can be more of a hindrance than a help

Israeli cellist and teacher Hillel Zori on the importance of listening in the present

I don’t encourage students to record themselves: the musicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries never did, and they were still great players. I’m always afraid that recording oneself...

News Thursday, 21 August 2014

Minnesota Orchestra receives $10m gift from anonymous donor

The donation has inspired three further contributions totalling $3.2m

The Minnesota Orchestra is continuing to put the labour dispute of 2013 behind it with the announcement of a $10m leadership gift by an anonymous donor. The contribution was offered...

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