LATEST BLOGS

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

Blogs Monday, 23 June 2014

9 ways for musicians to think like top athletes

Carole Talbot-Honeck earned her Masters degree from The University of Ottawa studying the psychological prerequisites for optimal musical performance. Here, she outlines a number of sporting attitudes, which are of equal value to musicians

1. Love of your professionMy thesis advisor called it simply ‘joy’. Musicians have to remember that love of music is what got them started in the first place and they sometimes...

Blogs Friday, 06 June 2014

Tackling the demands of Richard Strauss orchestral works

Boston Symphony Orchestra violinist Jason Horowitz gives advice on how to approach some of the most famous – and challenging – works of the great late-Romantic composer

Every work by Strauss contains the difficulties of his entire oeuvre; questions of weight and importance, both within a phrase and within an orchestral texture, play an important role in the orchestral...

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...

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...

Blogs Friday, 23 May 2014

Violinist Bin Huang on playing the 'Salabue', 'Berta' Guadagnini - listen to a clip

The violinist performed Bach's Chaconne on the instrument during a recent trip to Italy

Visiting Giovanni Accornero at his home means playing at least two dozen top-quality violins ranging from modern to antique, discussing their qualities, comparing them with each other, and just having...

Blogs Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Violinist Aaron Rosand on why memorisation is key to interpretation

In the latest in his series on violin technique the American maestro discusses the importance of understanding a work's cultural background and performing by memory to convey this

Begin by studying the score with or without the violin in hand. Sing the line to yourself to better understand how you want to hear it played. We must respect the composer’s intentions, such as...

Blogs Thursday, 08 May 2014

Writing a violin concerto in the 21st century

Composer Nimrod Borenstein, who has written a new violin concerto for Dmitry Sitkovestky, writes about historical precedent, expectation and the challenge of beauty

A couple of years ago, in a moment of inspiration, I decided that I would spend the next decade or so writing concertos for all sort of instruments. As a violinist myself it is not surprising that I...

Blogs Tuesday, 06 May 2014

10 tips for a successful orchestral audition

Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Brant Taylor offers advice to candidates hoping to succeed in that all-important orchestral audition

Every orchestra and audition committee is unique. However, certain audition concepts are so fundamental as to be likely to lead to a performance that will get positive attention from practically any...

Blogs Thursday, 01 May 2014

How to be successful in an orchestral audition

London Symphony Orchestra first violinist Maxine Kwok-Adams offers tips for string candidates to coincide with The Strad’s May 2014 feature on preparing for orchestral auditions

What is a panel looking for primarily from the orchestral excerpts?

The main things I am looking for when I sit on an audition panel are quite simple – good rhythm...

Blogs Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Violinist Roman Mints on overcoming a career-threatening ganglion

The Russian musician was forced to withstand ten needle treatments to drain the recurring cyst – and was advised to keep playing throughout his ordeal

It’s a musician’s worst nightmare to wake up with a pain in his hand. I had devoted the whole of my conscious life from the age of five to a career as a professional violinist; there is ...

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