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

Blogs Tuesday, 01 October 2013

The life and times of a historic London studio – part one

The private residence where some of the legendary players featured in the October issue of The Strad performed is under threat. Nicholas Lane revisits those glorious days – and nights – via first-hand accounts from the time

Casals, Ysaÿe, Thibaud, Tertis, Sammons, Goossens, Suggia, Kochański, Rubinstein, Cortot, Stravinsky, Nijinsky, Szymanowski and many more.

‘So through the season of 1912&ndash...

Blogs Monday, 30 September 2013

A Brief Survey of Summer Festivals Without All the Bother of Joining a String Quartet – Part Four

American String Quartet violist Daniel Avshalomov and his colleagues brave the Beijing heat to bring a diverse programme to the city's concergoers

No matter where you start from, China seems very far away, but the lure of the Great Wall International Music Academy (GWIMA) is considerable. Kurt Sassmannshaus, its president, insisted from the start...

Blogs Monday, 09 September 2013

A Brief Survey of Summer Festivals Without All the Bother of Joining a String Quartet – Part Three

American String Quartet violist Daniel Avshalomov reaches Winona, Minnesota, and reflects on the challenges of Mendelssohn’s Octet

If you were a travel agent working on an itinerary that included Crested Butte, Colorado, and Aspen, Colorado, and also Beijing, China, an order would suggest itself. But if (when no one was looking)...

Blogs Friday, 30 August 2013

Remembering London orchestral players of the 1950s

Ariane Todes’s chance discovery of a box of old concert programmes led to an outpouring of tributes to a golden generation of string players

When my mother brought out a box full of hundreds of programmes that my father had collected in his days as a single man-about-town in 1950s London, I knew immediately how important they were for...

Blogs Thursday, 22 August 2013

Do violin competitions face extinction?

A day trip to Switzerland yielded some provocative conversations about the future of string music contests for Ariane Todes

It’s a strange feeling going to Switzerland for the day. The 4am-dark suburban streets of Heathrow Airport’s environs are replaced by overwhelming green mountain scenes as the train from...

Blogs Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A Brief Survey of Summer Festivals Without All the Bother of Joining a String Quartet – Part Two

American String Quartet violist Daniel Avshalomov continues his blog tour of US festivals in the clean mountain air of Crested Butte, Colorado

In the late 1970s the American String Quartet (ASQ) played some concerts with the Tokyo Quartet (TQ), and we gossiped, as colleagues will. After the major interpretive questions were discussed (for ...

Blogs Monday, 19 August 2013

Violinist Ivry Gitlis remembers George Enescu

Our October issue will focus on great players of the past, including interviews with people who knew them or revere them. Ariane Todes has just interviewed the inimitable Gitlis about his former teacher and gives a sneak preview

I've just been transcribing a wonderful half-hour interview with the 91-year-old violin legend Ivry Gitlis for our October issue, which Steven Isserlis is guest-editing. Isserlis has chosen the theme...

Blogs Friday, 09 August 2013

Nigel Kennedy's Vivaldi at the BBC Proms

What's it like hearing the 'quasi-punk' violinist in concert for the first time? Our editorial assistant Pauline Harding reports

Last night I had my first Nigel Kennedy experience: Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, at the BBC Proms. Kennedy’s orchestra comprised a student ensemble from Palestine, the Palestine Strings...

Blogs Wednesday, 07 August 2013

Scaling the wall in Beijing

The ninth Great Wall International Music Academy, which took place in Beijing in July, forged connections both musical and social between young musicians from east and west that will enrich their careers, says Nancy Pellegrini

When two consummate educators share the same vision, everyone wins. And when Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music professor Kurt Sassmannshaus and the late, great Chinese violin pedagogue ...

Blogs Monday, 05 August 2013

A Brief Survey of Summer Festivals Without All the Bother of Joining a String Quartet – Part 1

American String Quartet violist Daniel Avshalomov begins his blog tour of US festivals with song and dance – both courtesy of larger-than-life choreographer Mark Morris – in Ojai, California

Our cellist Wolfram Koessel had been telling us stories about him for years, so when Mark Morris invited the American String Quartet (ASQ) to join him for performances at this summer’s Ojai Music...

serene violin solo pre-1917
Hi folks. For a story I'm writing I'd like suggestions for the most serene and...
I want to try some new strings on my violin. It's English, 1875, and has quite...
violin left hand position
I have a new student , quite advanced, who has a 'double jointed' left thumb...
Electric violin and bows stolen in London
My friend John Garner's asking for help regarding his electric violin. Please...
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