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

Blogs Wednesday, 05 February 2014

Recording the soundtrack to Gravity

William Schofield, cellist with the Emperor Quartet and Academy of St Martin in the Fields, describes recording the soundtrack to the Oscar and BAFTA-nominated film

Recording sessions can be run in a number of ways, usually determined by the particular use. For a classical session you will want to record in a natural acoustic, aiming to create an impression of ...

Blogs Friday, 24 January 2014

Claudio Abbado — an orchestral violinist's personal tribute

Berlin Philharmonic violinist and member of the board of directors, Stanley Dodds, remembers the great conductor, who died this week

My first concert as a violinist with the Berlin Philharmonic was in September 1993, with Claudio Abbado conducting. I had felt spellbound watching him previously in concert but at the same time baffled...

Blogs Monday, 20 January 2014

Violinist Augustin Hadelich on performing a concerto with the LA Phil at three days’ notice

The soloist describes his recent experience filling in for Christian Tetzlaff at LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall

Last week I was in Dallas packing my bag after a recital when the phone rang: the Los Angeles Philharmonic needed a violinist to fill a cancellation by Christian Tetzlaff; Edo de Waart was to be the...

Blogs Thursday, 16 January 2014

Aaron Rosand on how to produce a good vibrato

In the second of a series of articles on violin technique, the American violinist examines the role of vibrato in enhancing the sound

Wrist Vibrato and Arm Vibrato are the terms used to describe the manner of vibrating. But this terminology is inconsistent with what actually makes the vibrato. The...

Blogs Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Jascha Heifetz and Nathan Milstein – two titanic violinists who still divide opinion today

Tully Potter compares the recorded legacy of the two renowned performers

Heifetz or Milstein? Well, now that we can hear them only on recordings or films, we do not really have to choose! We can enjoy each man’s playing for its unique qualities.

My own opinions...

Blogs Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Does winning a violin competition at an early age place too much pressure on the artist?

An interview with violinist Nicola Benedetti this week highlights the potential risks of too much success for the very young, writes Charlotte Smith

Competitions: worthwhile platforms for launching brilliant new artists or arbitrary hothouses which routinely produce skewed results? The merits and disadvantages have been debated often enough, but...

Blogs Thursday, 19 December 2013

Aaron Rosand on how to produce a beautiful tone

In the first of a series of articles on violin technique, the American violinist examines the role of the bow in tone production

How do you produce a beautiful tone? It is a question frequently asked. The simple answer is: with the bow. There is no sound until the bow touches the strings. Several factors are involved and coordinated...

Blogs Thursday, 19 December 2013

Violoncello da spalla – story of a rediscovery

Dmitry Badiarov, who crafted the violoncello da spalla that will make its London debut in the hands of Sigiswald Kuijken in March 2014, talks about the process of reconstructing this rare historical instrument

When Sigiswald Kuijken approached me with the idea of reconstructing a violoncello da spalla in 2003 I was on tour with La Petite Bande, the orchestra he had created and conducted for 40 years. ...

Blogs Friday, 22 November 2013

My years performing with Benjamin Britten

The violinist Nona Liddell first met Britten at Sadler’s Wells during rehearsals for the Aldeburgh Festival. She performed alongside him for many years, and remembers an extraordinary musician with very high standards

The first time I went to Aldeburgh was in 1950, for the third festival. I was very young and I’d been booked to play with a small orchestra led by David Martin, called the Aldeburgh Festival Orchestra...

Blogs Friday, 22 November 2013

Janine Jansen on the struggle and pain of Britten's Violin Concerto

Benjamin Britten, born 100 years ago today, produced only a small number of string works, but musicians rate them among the greatest – and most testing – of the 20th century. Violinist Janine Jansen describes the enduring lure of his Violin Concerto

I’ve been playing the Britten Violin Concerto for about 15 years. Back when I started it was played far less than it is now. From the first moment I got to know it, I was strongly drawn to its...

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