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

Blogs Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Technique aplenty, but musicality wins the day in Weimar

Young players are well represented at the Louis Spohr Competition, but a little more experience goes a very long way. Rebecca Schmid reports

At the International Louis Spohr Competition for Young Violinists, age poses no limits. One might watch a procession of pre-teens perform the complete Bruch Concerto one moment, and spot a judging panel...

Blogs Friday, 08 November 2013

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

The American String Quartet heads for the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, enticed by the invitation to perform Schubert’s Quintet – and the promise of fresh lobster

Familiar as we are with the charms of Aspen, what could induce the Quartet to move on? For one thing it’s not easy to get really fresh lobster in the middle of the continent; for another, we were...

Blogs Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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

American String Quartet violist Daniel Avshalomov reports from Aspen, where he and his colleagues perform Janáček, Haydn, Korngold and Brahms against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains

From Crested Butte, Colorado to Aspen is a ten-minute flight, a three-hour drive or an exhilarating all-day mountain hike. But careful readers will recall that when the American String Quartet gets ...

Blogs Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A Late Quartet – the new DVD reviewed

Ariane Todes watches a film that pushes all the buttons of the string world, and quartets in particular

As the daughter of a Parkinsonian and the sister of a professional quartet player, I’d say I am pretty well placed to review this film. For the story (spoiler alert) concerns the Fugue Quartet...

Blogs Friday, 11 October 2013

A twist on tradition

Peter Somerford visits Cremona's new Museo del Violino to see if rare violins and state-of-the-art technology make a welcoming combination

How to bring alive the world of violins and violin making for a non-specialist audience, for the culturally minded tourist or day tripper? That must have been an essential question for the designers...

Blogs Thursday, 10 October 2013

Twists and turns – and a deserving first prizewinner in Munich

For the first time in its history, women alone made the solo instrument finals at the International ARD Music Competition – and there was only one first prizewinner. Heather Kurzbauer reports

To many, Bavaria means heady brew, bratwurst and BMWs, but real insiders know that beyond those three Bs it is that one C – culture – that charges Munich’s conservative core with new...

Blogs Wednesday, 02 October 2013

The story behind the cover of The Strad’s October issue – part one

Designer Elma Aquino reveals the detailed thinking that took place and the decisions made in putting October’s unusual cover together

This month we had the privilege of working with the great British cellist Steven Isserlis as guest editor. The theme of his October issue was ‘great players of the past’, and for me as a...

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)...

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