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Top stories from the string music world

News Friday, 06 June 2014

West Dean College instrument making tutor Shem Mackey receives QEST Award

The Award for excellence in British craftsmanship recognises his contribution to instrument making through research and tuition

Shem Mackey has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) Award for Excellence in British craftsmanship. The postgraduate programme leader in Making Stringed Musical Instruments at West...

Focus Thursday, 05 June 2014

7 techniques to combat stage fright

How often has a potential performance of a lifetime turned into a performance from hell? Are you suffering from stage fright? Laurinel Owen gives advice on overcoming this common affliction

Performing has many rewards, yet stage fright may cause you to forget why you love music. In working out a programme for stress management don't lose sight of the reasons why you perform and bear in...

News Thursday, 05 June 2014

Strasbourg Music Festival 2014 cancelled due to poor ticket sales

The French festival was due to open next week with 15 events

The Festival de Musique de Strasbourg has been cancelled just days before it was due to commence on 8 June due to poor advance ticket sales. The festival’s original schedule of 33 concerts had...

Focus Wednesday, 04 June 2014

From the Archive: advice for budding orchestral players

Chas J Rockwell compiled a list of handy rules for less experienced orchestral players in The Strad's July 1893 issue

1. Cultivate your sense of hearing. Insist on and see to it that your instrument is in proper tune with itself and the rest of the orchestra.

2. Accustom yourself...

News Wednesday, 04 June 2014

Budapest Festival Orchestra violin bows seized by New York airport officials over ivory concerns

The seven bows were each accompanied by photos and letters from bow makers vouching for their legality

Seven bows belonging to members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra (pictured) were seized by officials at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport on Saturday on the suspicion that they...

Focus Tuesday, 03 June 2014

Guidance for music teachers: how to deal with difficult parents

Difficult pupils can be the least of some teachers’ worries. Sometimes parents can be more of a handful than their sons and daughters. Catherine Nelson provides essential tips for dealing with misguided parent power

Wouldn’t it be so much simpler if, as a teacher, you only had to deal with your pupils rather than with their parents as well? Supportive parents can make the teacher’s world a better place...

News Tuesday, 03 June 2014

British violist and conductor Gerald Gentry has died aged 86

The artist performed with many of the London Orchestras and was a BBC staff conductor for 12 years

British violist and conductor Gerald Gentry has died at the age of 86. Born in May 1927, he began playing the viola professionally at the age of 13 and at 15 was freelancing with London orchestras including...

Blogs Monday, 02 June 2014

Classical musicians should think more like a rock band

Break of Reality, a band of three classically-trained cellists and a percussionist, have forged a successful career by adopting the mindset and values of rock musicians, says co-founder Ivan Trevino

Learning from rock musicians

As a founding member of Break of Reality, I've learned a tremendous amount about being in and running an alt-classical chamber ensemble. Break of...

News Monday, 02 June 2014

Ebène Quartet violist Mathieu Herzog to leave the ensemble

The artist will devote himself principally to conducting

Mathieu Herzog, violist of French string quartet Quatuor Ebène, has announced that he is leaving the group to pursue a career as a conductor. The ensemble has performed together for 15 years ...

Blogs Friday, 30 May 2014

7 tips for successful practice by violinist Rachel Podger

The Baroque musician reveals the most important elements of her practice routine

1. Plan your practice according to how you feelIf you’ve been travelling and carrying a lot of bags so feel weak or tired, you’ll have to build up slowly during your next...

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viola stolen!
I had my viola stolen last week from Liverpool. Label has: Aubrey J. Tarr 1974...
violin blocks
I have an old unlabled violin and I have noticed 4 small blocks about5cm square...
violin left hand position
I have a new student , quite advanced, who has a 'double jointed' left thumb...
serene violin solo pre-1917
Hi folks. For a story I'm writing I'd like suggestions for the most serene and...
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