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Featured Blog Posts (308)

Saguaro Trio Scores With Beethoven and Tchaikovsky on Music Guild Summer Series

Dateline: The Music Guild Summer Fest 14, University Synagogue, Brentwood, California, August 24, 2014, 2 p.m.

With a large, enthusiastic crowd at University Synagogue in Brentwood ready to hear what Music Guild impresario Eugene Golden had up his sleeve for the fifth and final concert of the Summer Fest 14 season, the Saguaro Trio gave everything they had, which was a lot, in Beethoven's Piano Trio Op. 1 No. 1 and brought rare notes of intimacy to Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 30, 2014 at 9:52am — No Comments

In Search of Ole Bull

For four days in Bergen, Norway, violinist and researcher Peter Sheppard-Skaerved pursued the essence of Norway’s most famous fiddler.

Added by Greg Cahill on September 2, 2014 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

Elephants Dancing to Violins, Naturally

Another reason not to kill elephants for their ivory: they're fans of violin music. Watch the video

Added by Greg Cahill on August 28, 2014 at 1:01pm — No Comments

Introducing Teen Strings Tip Sheets

A new tool for string teachers--keep your students engaged with these monthly practice tips, instrument care advice and inspirational notes on their peers. Check it out here.

Added by Greg Cahill on August 23, 2014 at 8:00pm — No Comments

How to Prevent, or Even Cure, a Violin Hickey

t begins as an itch or a chafe. Friends giggle, families gape, and perfect strangers won’t stop staring at it—that red spot on the left-hand side of your neck. It has many names in many countries—fiddler’s neck, violin hickey, or mark of greatness.

Dermatologists call this spot—where a violin or viola contacts with the player’s neck—“acne mechanica” and proceed further with such technical terms as “lichenification,” “erythema,” “scaling,” and good-old “scarring.” No…


Added by Greg Cahill on August 21, 2014 at 6:47pm — 1 Comment

Jazz Violinist John Blake Jr., 1947-2014

Sad to hear of the passing of jazz violinist John Blake Jr. 

Read a 2011 interview with Blake from Strings magazine.

Added by Greg Cahill on August 17, 2014 at 9:20am — No Comments

Getting Curioser and Curioser: Day Three at the Fifth International Chamber Music Festival of Kaposvár

Dateline: Szivárvány Kultúrpalota, Kaposvár, Hungary, Wednesday noon and evening, August 14

A curious series of events–particularly curiou to non Hungarian speakers–unfolded on Day Three of the 5th International Chamber Music Festival of Kaposvár.

After risky Beethoven, glamorous Ravel, superb Saint-Saëns and dashing Mendelssohn at the noontime concert, a troop of Hungarian actors presented potted versions…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 16, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

Learn to Strengthen Your String Quartet's Voice

These expert tips, with video instruction by the award-winning Del Sol Quartet, can help kickstart your chamber-music career. Learn more here.

Added by Greg Cahill on August 15, 2014 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Festival of the Future: Day 2 at the 5th Kaposvár International Chamber Music Festival

Dateline: Szivárvány Kultúrpalota, Kaposvár, Hungary, Wednesday morning and night, August 14

If the best classical music festivals are as much about discovery, friendship and even love as they are about entertainment, Day 2 at the 5th Kaposvár International Chamber Music Festival was no exception. During two sold-out concerts at the Palace of Arts—a wonderful…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 15, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments

The Pablo Casals Festival in Prades: Beethoven, Beethoven, Beethoven

Dateline: Abbaye Saint Michel de Cuxa, Prades, France, Tuesday evening, August 5, 2014

Although Pablo Casals has long been most famously associated with the Six Solo Suites of Bach and the music of Bach generally—he began each morning by playing one of Bach’s preludes and fugues on the piano—he had an equally long and profound relationship with the music of Beethoven.

In 1928 he made…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 11, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Adult Beginners Tap Their Passion for String Playing

Wayne Booth, emeritus professor of English at the University of Chicago, was so bitten by the music bug that, not only did he take up the cello at the relatively advanced age of 31, he also passionately pursued cello and chamber music for the next four decades, devoting the book For the Love of It: Amateuring and Its Rivals (University of Chicago Press, 1999) to the subject.…


Added by Greg Cahill on August 11, 2014 at 4:54pm — No Comments

Are U.S. Conservatories Preparing Strings Players for the Job World?

The new initiatives at conservatories come as the classical-music industry is becoming tougher and students need to be fully prepared for what lies ahead. Teachers and administrators say that despite students’ enthusiasm for broad careers, they still need to be prepared for some of the harsher realities of a career in music, including the notion that some may eventually have to relocate to small but low-cost towns. 

“We do have that conversation,” says Nathaniel Zeisler, instructor in…


Added by Greg Cahill on August 11, 2014 at 3:09pm — No Comments

Pablo Casals in Prades: The Beat Goes On

Dateline: Abbaye Saint Michel de Cuxa, Prades, France, Monday night, August 4

It has been 60 years since Pablo Casals, violinist Szymon Goldberg and pianist Rudolf Serkin gave a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Trio Op. 70 No. 1 that…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 6, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

The Talich Quartet Celebrates Its 50th Birthday at the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades

DATELINE: Abbaye Saint Michel de Cuxa, Prades, France, Friday night, August 1

The Talich Quartet (Jan Talich Jr., Roman Patočka, Vladimír Bukač, Petr Prause) celebrated its 50th birthday and the indomitable Czech spirit by playing Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and Smetana for a sellout crowd at the 62nd Pablo Casals Festival in Prades. It was a striking emotional intersection with the spirit of Casals himself that was not lost on the musicians, the students from…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 3, 2014 at 2:00am — No Comments

Pop Goes the Cello . . . .

. . .  2Cellos, in fact! Read all about it here.

Added by Greg Cahill on August 1, 2014 at 11:23am — No Comments

The Artis Quartet and Friends Reward an Intrepid Casals Festival Audience in an Audiophile Grotto

Dateline: Grottes Des Grandes Canalettes, Corneilla De Conflent (above Prades), France, Tuesday night, July 29

The Grottes des Grandes Canalettes, located on a spur of the Pyrenees above Prades, consisting of chambers rich in stalactites and helictites which defy gravity, and filled with immense pillars and wonderfully colored columns, made this a perfect environment for a…


Added by Laurence Vittes on August 1, 2014 at 5:30am — No Comments

Tuscan Hills Come Alive With the Sounds of Music Made by Young Stars of the Future from Los Angeles, Nazareth and Gstaad

DATELINE: Church of Sant’Andrea in Castiglioncello del Trinoto, Val d’Orcia, southern Tuscany, Italy, Monday night, July 21…


Added by Laurence Vittes on July 23, 2014 at 11:05pm — No Comments

The Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival 2014: Fictionalized Schubert and a Classical Music Newspaper Written Entirely by Young People

"It was the best, most inspiring Lockenhaus Festival so far!" 

That is the totally biased report from cellist Nicolas Altstaedt, 32-year old director of the 2014 Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival…


Added by Laurence Vittes on July 19, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

Improve Your Violin and Viola Sound Production

“I find tone is like someone’s voice,” says virtuoso violinist Jaime Laredo, conductor of the prestigious New York String Orchestra Seminar, “and like appearances, no two sounds are alike.” 

In other words, your tone is your musical voice, as individual as you are, and you want it to speak for you as clearly and articulately as possible.

Internationally known concert violinist and educator Ida Kavafian describes this quite eloquently: “The first thing that is responsible for a…


Added by Greg Cahill on July 17, 2014 at 2:03pm — No Comments

3 Ways to Boost Your Cello's Projection

Cellist Judith Glyde, chair of the string faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder, writes: Projecting your sound is not simply a matter of playing louder; it’s often a question of improving your articulation. Both the left hand and right hand must do their parts in this quest for greater sound projection. The steps below will help you be heard on a passage that must project, either in chamber music (especially difficult for the cello or the inner parts in a chamber ensemble) or in…


Added by Greg Cahill on July 17, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

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