We discuss the essential issues in today's string music world

Debate Wednesday, 02 April 2014

Should music tuition revolve around passing exams?

Toby Deller argues that young players should be inspired by fulfilling experiences

There’s a story about a boy who has just finished his instrumental exam and begs to know whether he has passed. Unfortunately, replies the examiner, he’s not allowed to say, but the results...

Debate Monday, 31 March 2014

The skills we learn as musicians can counteract today's short attention spans

Are apps, tweets and status updates killing our minds? Ariane Todes argues that string players are uniquely placed to rise above the dangers of modern technology

Is the internet and mobile technology changing the way we think? It’s a big question these days, one discussed in panicked tones in the various media forms whose existence is threatened by the...

Debate Monday, 24 March 2014

Why can’t players get vibrato right?

Vibrating need not compromise purity of tone if it’s done tastefully, says Tully Potter, who takes to task those who overplay, misplay or completely disown it

We live in an age of too many certainties, and string playing has not escaped the attentions of the fundamentalists. If I had a pound for every word of nonsense that has been vented on the subject of...

Debate Friday, 14 March 2014

An interesting and well-written biography is key to promoting yourself as a musician

String players shouldn’t put up with badly written, out-of-date biographies put together by agents, argues Helen Michetschläger. Do it yourself and reap the rewards

Musicians often complain that their work is not valued. There are concerns that audiences are getting older, particularly in areas such as chamber music. Press coverage of classical music has dwindled...

Debate Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Museums must be allowed to display historic instruments to the public

Suggestions that instrumental care is too delicate a task for museums are dangerously wide of the mark, and pay scant regard to their educational objectives, argues Alex Robinson

Among the basic purposes of any museum are the preservation of historic artefacts and the education of visitors. Applied to musical instruments, these goals can seem at odds. On one hand, most instruments...

Debate Monday, 03 March 2014

A united front against orchestral mergers

More than 20 per cent of Germany’s orchestras have disappeared since 1992. Gerald Mertens examines the reasons why, and asks what can be done to halt the trend

It's hard to understand, even for insiders: in 2016 the South West German Radio (SWR) will merge the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra with the SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra (BBFSO...

Debate Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Rare musical instruments may be better preserved away from museums

Lack of conservation resources and pressure to restore them or perform on them can put historic instruments at risk, argues Stewart Pollens

Webster’s dictionary defines museums as ‘institutions devoted to the procurement, care, and display of objects of lasting interest or value’. However, after many years as a ...

Debate Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Take the hostility out of string playing

Today’s performers should remember that you don’t need to be aggressive to make a searing point, argues Richard S. Ginell

Not too long ago I walked away from a performance by one of our leading female violinists in Los Angeles’s futuristic Walt Disney Concert Hall feeling as if I had just been mugged.

She ...

Debate Thursday, 06 February 2014

Now is the time for the double bass to shine

After centuries of neglect, the double bass is receiving the attention it has always deserved. Jeff Bradetich argues that now is a great time to be a bassist

Not since the time of the first Viennese School has the double bass enjoyed such a profound period of growth. During that part of the late 18th century, every great composer wrote solos and concertos...

Debate Friday, 31 January 2014

Why we should question our prejudices

The string world has overcome many preconceptions, but there’s still room for improvement, says Ariane Todes

The start of a new decade is a good chance to take stock, to look at our progress as a community. I don’t think I’d shock anyone if I described our world as generally a conservative...

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