Ariane Todes selects her favourite stories and interviews from The Strad website and beyond

Focus Thursday, 27 March 2014

Russian cellist Karine Georgian remembers Mstislav Rostropovich

An intense seven-year period of study at the Moscow Conservatoire was hugely influential

After my father, my main influence was Mstislav Rostropovich, with whom I studied for seven years. When I first came to play to him I brought Prokofiev’s Symphony–Concerto...

Focus Wednesday, 26 March 2014

How a broken thumb solved a more serious health issue, by cellist Colin Carr

The international cello soloist and chamber musician describes how a cycling accident forced him to rethink the way he played

When did you first experience discomfort when playing the cello?

The problem started in my teenage years: I felt pain spreading from my right thumb, up my arm, and into the shoulder...

Focus Friday, 21 March 2014

Violist Lesley Robertson on taking the plunge with laser eye surgery

In this Health Matters article from The Strad, June 2009, the St Lawrence Quartet player describes the process of having her eyes lasered

What made you decide to have laser eye surgery?

A friend had very good results when she’d had it done eight or nine years previously. I began to think about it more and...

Focus Thursday, 20 March 2014

How to teach adult string students

Teaching adults need not be a daunting prospect. For Alice McVeigh the rewards outweigh the problems, as she reveals in her guide for tutors

Many years ago, having finished music college, I agreed to fill in as interim cello teacher at a girls’ boarding school in Sevenoaks. I was granted an interview with the head teacher, a Maggie...

Focus Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Tackling the difficult topic of student-teacher relationships

Learning a stringed instrument requires an emotional and mental bond between student and teacher, but what happens when the boundaries blur? Hazel Davis investigates

Kirsty* is 27. She is married with two children. She met her husband when she was 17. He was her cello teacher and was 45 at the time. They were both single when they met. Theirs is a happy marriage...

Focus Tuesday, 18 March 2014

What conductors want from their string players, by Sir Antonio Pappano

Conductors want more than a fantastic technique, the British conductor tells Ariane Todes

What do you consider the perfect string section in terms of the way it functions and its sound?I need to hear a feeling of movement in the section, a flexibility that creates a tone...

Focus Monday, 17 March 2014

Why historic recordings deserve more air time

Broadcasters routinely neglect and patronise historic recordings made by some of the greatest-ever string players, in favour of modern ones. They’re failing in their duties, according to Tully Potter

Imagine walking into the National Gallery and finding that all exhibits dating from before 1960 had been packed away, because some officious curator had decided they were too old to interest you. Well...

Focus Friday, 14 March 2014

How a hand injury impacted cellist Julian Steckel emotionally as well as physically

The international cello soloist and chamber musician on his recovery from a motorbike accident

How did you injure your hand?

It happened in June 2005 when I was studying in Vienna with Heinrich Schiff. I had just finished an intensive chamber music festival in Heimbach...

Focus Wednesday, 12 March 2014

8 opinions on performance and career by violinist Ivry Gitlis

The great violinist reveals his sometimes surprising views on performance and the music business to Ariane Todes to mark his 90th birthday in The Strad’s August 2012 issue

On learning repertoireI was never a workaholic, except when I had to work really hard, for example when I agreed to record the Paganini caprices. I had never played them all, so I would...

Focus Monday, 10 March 2014

Is the golden age of violin making just an illusion?

Robert Lewin, The Strad’s long-serving writer on the violin market, considers the ‘old versus modern’ question in this article from 1964

I recently gave a small dinner-party to some chamber music friends, and the viola player, after doing ample justice to the expensive viands put before him, perpetuated some unkindly denigrating reflections...

viola stolen!
I had my viola stolen last week from Liverpool. Label has: Aubrey J. Tarr 1974...
violin blocks
I have an old unlabled violin and I have noticed 4 small blocks about5cm square...
violin left hand position
I have a new student , quite advanced, who has a 'double jointed' left thumb...
serene violin solo pre-1917
Hi folks. For a story I'm writing I'd like suggestions for the most serene and...
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