Comment, opinions and reports from The Strad team and leading figures in the string world

Blogs Thursday, 19 August 2010

Sports psychology at the ESTA conference

Ariane Todes discovers that string players can learn from golfers

I've just come out of a fascinating talk at the European String Teachers Association conference in Cheltenham. Karen O'Connor from the Birmingham Conservatoire talked about some of the things that string...

Blogs Thursday, 12 August 2010

Random play at the Proms

Ariane Todes asks if classical music is learning from the MP3 shuffle setting

I know it’s rude to stare at people who are different. But at last night’s BBC Proms concert I couldn’t take my eyes off the left-handed cellist at the back of the Danish National ...

Blogs Wednesday, 04 August 2010

Violins on fire

Ariane Todes visits the Cambridge Folk Festival

I’m just back from the Cambridge Folk Festival, where fiddles were truly on fire, despite heavy rain on Saturday night. Seth Lakeman played some songs from his latest album, Hearts and Minds, ...

Blogs Friday, 23 July 2010

Running violinists and dashing cellists

David Kettle goes in pursuit of masked string players at the opera

If you think the life of an orchestral string player is tough enough, at least when they’re performing they normally get a comfortable seat in a brightly lit hall under the gaze of a welcoming...

Blogs Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Top violin teaching secret revealed

Editor Ariane Todes learns of a simple idea that offers a powerful teaching tool

I’m just off the phone from a really fascinating conversation with Danish violinist Elisabeth Zeuthen for our September Ask the Teacher column. Zeuthen is responsible for the string pedagogy course...

Blogs Thursday, 22 April 2010

Why are Proms string players like policemen?

Performers seem to get younger and younger, according to Ariane Todes

The Proms programme has been announced ( and as ever it’s an enticing bunch of interesting stuff. But is it just a sign of my increasing age, or are Proms string...

Blogs Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Have you been affected by the Icelandic fog?

Ariane Todes asks if string players deal with adversity particularly well

It just took me 32 hours to get home from a holiday in Asturias, Spain, an epic journey that involved a combination of van, ferry, taxi, train, and lots of sugar and coffee. In the scheme of things ...

Blogs Thursday, 01 April 2010

Where's Gene Kelly when you need him?

Ariane Todes is left unmoved by classical ballet

I just don’t get classical ballet. I have tried, really. Last night I went to see the Royal Ballet performing a triple bill choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan. The first piece was set to Shostakovich&rsquo...

Blogs Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Strad goes to Frankfurt

Meetings galore and lots of coffee at Musikmesse

The Strad team is in Frankfurt for the Musikmesse at the moment. Lots of people to meet and interesting things to see. It's a bit smaller in the string hall than in previous years, but there's a positive...

Blogs Friday, 12 March 2010

It’s always worth haggling

Ariane Todes has just negotiated a discount on her insurance policy

I love my violin deeply, and the thought of any harm coming to it fills me with dread. But I’ve been paying my insurance dutifully for years now without ever making a claim, and there have been...

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