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

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)...

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...

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