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Top stories from the string music world

Focus Friday, 05 September 2014

How to develop fourth finger strength

String students often suffer from weakness in the little finger, but this can be overcome, writes James Winram in the Strad’s July 1913 issue

A well-developed fourth finger is of paramount importance in the successful working of the left hand. The third finger is the trying one for pianists, and the fourth is similarly so for violinists. ...

Focus Thursday, 04 September 2014

Can bowing-wrist suppleness improve intonation?

Juan Krakenberger has made a number of interesting connections between good tuning and loosening the bowing wrist in his teaching

What would you say if I stated that right-wrist suppleness has an important role to play in achieving sensitive intonation with the left-hand fingers? These two matters may seem to have no connection...

News Thursday, 04 September 2014

Video: eleven-year-old busking violinist is surprised by his idol Joshua Bell

The young musician was performing on NBC's Today show

Dylan Hamme, a talented eleven-year-old violinist who has been busking on the streets of New York, was invited to perform on NBC's Today programme  this week. Unbeknownst to the youngster, his ...

News Thursday, 04 September 2014

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra management warns top international status in jeopardy

The orchestra posted a fiscal deficit of €836,461 in 2013

The management of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) has posted a fiscal deficit of €836,461 in 2013 and members of its senior management team have warned that its status as a top international...

News Thursday, 04 September 2014

Cellist and teacher Rhuna Martin has died at the age of 82

The South-African born artist was a highly influential pedagogue at such London institutions as the Royal College of Music and Guildhall School

Cellist and teacher Rhuna Martin has died at the age of 82. Early in her career, the South African-born artist was co-principal cellist at Sadler’s Wells Opera and a founding member of the Royal...

Focus Wednesday, 03 September 2014

7 ways to play perfect chords

Advice on unforced and resonant chord playing from The Strad’s archives

One of the greatest difficulties experienced by the student consists in making the chords resonant and yet free from impurity of tone. They are apt to sound scratchy. The best way to correct this fault...

News Wednesday, 03 September 2014

Susanna Mälkki named Helsinki Philharmonic’s first female chief conductor

The Finnish conductor and former Gothenburg Symphony cellist takes up the role in 2016

Susanna Mälkki has been appointed the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s first female chief conductor from autumn 2016. She succeeds present chief conductor John Storgårds on an initial...

News Tuesday, 02 September 2014

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra violist dies while trying to save drowning partner

John Lynch was the orchestra’s associate principal viola from 2000

John Lynch, associate principal viola with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin, has drowned off the coast of Crete. The musician was trying to save his partner, civil servant Kevin ...

Focus Tuesday, 02 September 2014

From the Archive: Why do so many musicians have long hair?

Whether as a mark of distinction or genius, the trend is embodied by Eugène Ysaÿe, according to The Strad's June 1897 issue

London Truth discussing the question of hirsute eccentricities to which the majority of musicians are given, wonders why things are as they are. 'Is long hair an unfailing mark of genius?' ...

Focus Monday, 01 September 2014

Scales and exercises are essential for all string players, says Heinrich Schiff

Not all players regard exercises as important, but without a sound technical basis you cannot achieve your expressive potential, writes the cellist

Some 25 years of teaching have taught me that we players must always define what each of our motions at the cello represents - this is essential in order for us to be efficient artists capable of technical...

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