All Things Strings

Featured Blog Posts (216)

Consider the Humble Rosin Cake

Ever wonder how rosin is made? Check out this informative article and photo essay.

Added by Greg Cahill on August 17, 2012 at 1:12pm — No Comments

The AAM Gold Arcus Violin Bow Giveaway

I am so excited to give one of my gold Arcus violin bows away.  I have owned many different violin bows throughout my life, and now play using Tourte and Gold Arcus carbon fiber bows. It is extremely light and spiccato can come out super-clean at lightening speed. I used to think that using a heavy stick produced a bigger…


Added by Artspromo on August 2, 2012 at 7:48am — 1 Comment

Unleash Your Inner Walrus

Cellist extraordinaire Rushad Eggleston is in a new string band (Darol Anger & the Furies). Read his thoughts on the creative process and watch a video of Tornado Rider performing "The Golden Apple Dance."

Added by Greg Cahill on August 3, 2012 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Performance Art: What a Musician Can Learn Without Playing

From Jack Lin, a violinist serving an internship at Loren Maazel's Castleton Festival in Virginia:

"There are few times in a musician’s life when they truly experience something profound in performances or rehearsals. It is simply achieving a sense of artistic satisfaction through one’s art that makes it really meaningful to what we do. 

When Maestro Maazel gave the downbeat to signal the beginning of Respighi’s awesome Pines of Rome, on opening night (Friday, June 22),…


Added by Greg Cahill on July 23, 2012 at 1:16pm — No Comments

"Soul at Bar One" by Anne Akiko Meyers

A couple of weeks ago, I adjudicated a competition at the Music Academy of the West, in Santa Barbara. Watching and listening to the contestants, I remembered what it was like to compete when I was 11 and 12 years old and won the opportunity to perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic. I was moved by the passion these kids had to win the opportunity…


Added by Artspromo on July 23, 2012 at 8:09am — No Comments

SF Symphony Creates New Programs for Amateur Chamber Players

The San Francisco Symphony has partnered with classical music website San Francisco Classical Voice (SFCV) to launch a chamber music convening website,, as part of the Symphony’s Community of Music Makers program. The new website supports chamber music performance in the community and serves as a clearinghouse to help individual players and ensembles find each other, as well as communicate among each other and with the San…


Added by Greg Cahill on July 19, 2012 at 10:10am — No Comments

Testing the Boundaries of Fiddling Technique

Strings magazine is proud to partner with fiddler and chop-master Casey Driessen as he raises funds for Fiddle/Sticks: The Drummer Project. During this year-long journey, Casey will explore the boundaries of his chopping technique as he collaborates with top percussionists. You have an opportunity to contribute to this unique Kickstarter project today and win free prizes at

Here’s what Casey says about…


Added by Greg Cahill on June 22, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Be A Big Fish! Make A Living Doing Music.

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to perform and teach in Asia, affording a view onto an industry landscape much different from the United States.

I hear American musicians complain often of the lack of opportunity to make a living doing music. The world is a big place with a lot of opportunity if you know how to look for it. You can be a huge fish in many parts of the world if you’re willing to do some research and take the plunge. Can you imagine the kinds of…


Added by christian howes on July 9, 2012 at 11:49pm — No Comments

Viola Alert!

The best danged viola blog ever, straight from our wandering violist Cory Ramey, at the 2012 Int'l Viola Congress. Want some useful player tips? Cory's got 'em!

Added by Greg Cahill on June 1, 2012 at 10:58am — No Comments

Philip Setzer (violinist of Emerson String Quartet) - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau: An Outline of Memories

Attending my very first Lieder recital, and my first experience of hearing Schubert’s “Winterreise”, at Carnegie Hall in the early 70’s. Sitting up in the last row of the balcony—the cheap seats—listening to that gorgeous voice float up to me and bring me down to the stage, to his world, even his softest…


Added by Artspromo on May 31, 2012 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

A Little Nightmare Music (Apologies to Mozart)

The musical comedy team of Igudesman and Joo conquer the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. Read Laurence Vittes blog post.

Added by Greg Cahill on May 31, 2012 at 11:49am — No Comments

Part 1: Live from the 2012 Int'l Viola Congress

Read Strings contributor Cory Ramey's first blog on the opening night of the 40th Int'l Viola Congress.

Added by Greg Cahill on May 31, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments

More from the Montreal Chamber Music Festival

Strings correspondent Laurence Vittes continues his blogs from the Montreal Chamber Music Festival with this report on the Canadian debut of the new James Ehnes String Quartet:

Added by Greg Cahill on May 29, 2012 at 11:40am — No Comments

Looking for a Summer Study Program?

Chamber-music seminars? Orchestral intensives? Fiddle camps? Check out our searchable online Summer Study Guide.

Added by Greg Cahill on May 22, 2012 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Catch 'Strings Guide' Host Laurel Thomsen on the Web

‘Strings’ contributor, educator and violinist Laurel Thomsen will perform a live webcast with guitarist Doug Young and her new Bright Side Band on Thursday, May 24, at 7PM (PDT).

Check out Strings Guide series Improve Your Bowing, with text and instructional video on bowing fundamentals by Laurel Thomsen.

Added by Greg Cahill on May 22, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments

Juilliard Announces New Online Course

Virtual classroom will serve K-12 students and string teachers, bringing the Juilliard School's world-class faculty and resources to string players around the world. Read more.

Added by Greg Cahill on May 16, 2012 at 11:14am — No Comments

The Psychology of Jazz Improvisation: Jazz Fiddle Wizard, Martin Norgaard

What happens in the brain during improvisation, and how do we use this to get better at improvising?

This is exactly the thing Dr. Martin Norgaard researched for his doctorate in music education.

Now a professor at Georgia State University, Martin got together with me recently to talk a little about his findings, share  approaches to teaching improvisation and jazz violin, and play some tunes. Martin is a thought leader in our niche and one of…


Added by christian howes on May 18, 2012 at 10:36am — No Comments

American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers 2012 Meeting in New Orleans

Having just returned from the biennial General Meeting of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, I have a deeper sense of the group's purpose: to unite a group of independent-minded people and to create a community for sharing.

Though gathering violin and bow makers can be a bit like herding cats, the meeting, held May 9–13 in New Orleans, was a thrill-ride for those interested in the history of violin and bow making.

Every good meeting needs a focus, and the…


Added by Greg Olwell on May 21, 2012 at 8:51am — No Comments

New York Phil in SF—Best in the West

The New York Philharmonic, under the baton of of music director Alan Gilbert, performed Sunday, May 13, on the first of a two-night stand at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and the thundering applause at the close of its encore performance of Bernstein's "Lonely Town: Pas de deux from On the Town" said it all.

The concert was part of a tour of six California cities and, remarkably, the first US tour for the venerable New York Phil since Gilbert took the reins three years…


Added by Greg Cahill on May 15, 2012 at 1:59pm — No Comments

New Concert, New Poster

I’m sharing with you today the poster design I’ve done for our next orchestra concert. The major work will be Shostakovich’s 5th symphony besides Bizet Carmen’s second suite and Smetana’s Vysehrad.   I think the poster speaks for itself with the predominant red (traditional revolutionary symbol), and the number 5 trapped between the iconic hammer and sickle suggesting the pressure/oppression Shostakovich had to go through under the regime.…


Added by eddymontreal on May 12, 2012 at 9:34pm — 2 Comments




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