LATEST BLOGS

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

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 ...

Blogs Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Violinist Aaron Rosand on improving bow technique

In the latest in his series on violin technique the American maestro discusses the art of the bow and the importance of a relaxed right hand to produce a good sound

To improve your playing, your principal practice should be confined to the use of the bow in order to achieve complete command in the execution and expression of the music to be played. How you draw...

Blogs Tuesday, 15 April 2014

6 pieces of advice for performers by violinist Daniel Hope

The soloist, former Beaux Arts Trio member and associate artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival offers tips for musicians on performing and launching a career

Take advice from your mentorsI had the great fortune and privilege of performing over 60 concerts with Lord Menuhin. During the two decades we knew each other, there was not a day with...

Blogs Monday, 14 April 2014

Creating a broad portfolio career rewards both musician and audience

Cellist and baritone Matthew Sharp explains why you should broaden your musical horizons ahead of his RE:naissance festival, celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary, at London’s Kings Place

I'm writing this on the day that, in 1927, Rostropovich was born – cellist, conductor, teacher, pianist, activist, arranger/composer, art collector, one-time Vogue editor. An early...

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