Luthier and longtime Strings contributor James N. McKean writes:
By the time I left college to go to violin-making school I had been playing the violin for well over ten years—and yet I had not the slightest clue how the thing was made, much less how it worked.
Now, approaching the 40th anniversary of that day in early October when I arrived in Salt Lake City, every time I pick up my tools I’m still amazed at the instrument’s beauty. And by its acoustical…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on May 8, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments
5 Myths of Baroque String Playing
1. Don’t vibrate
2. Don’t sustain or play legato
3. Swell on long notes
4. Play out of tune
5. Get a student violin, put gut strings on it, remove the chinrest, borrow a baroque bow and…Continue
Even at an age when other string virtuosi have long since retired or continued to perform past their prime, master cellist Janos Starker could still astound audiences with his near-perfect intonation and impeccable phrasing, Strings contributor Robert Battey, who studied with Starker in the 1970s, wrote in a 2005 review of the cellist’s autobiography The World of Music According to Starker.
Death silenced that famous bow April 28, when Starker, 88, died in Bloomington,…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on April 29, 2013 at 2:32pm — No Comments
Catch up on all the action as Laurence Vittes follows the exploits of the Linden String Quartet at the American Pianists Association Classical Fellowship Awards competition in Indianapolis. http://bit.ly/15szsMy
Added by Greg Cahill on April 19, 2013 at 3:45pm — No Comments
Of all the awesome articles and interviews and columns in Strings magazine, my favorite is What's In the Case? It's also the first thing I read when a new issue lands in my mailbox. I love reading about other artists who are connected to their instruments on a deeper level that only another artist could appreciate.
We get attached to our instruments. We describe them as having a soul. Some of us see them as extensions of…Continue
Attention string students and teachers: Will you or someone you know be enrolled in a college or conservatory string program in the fall? May 1 is the deadline to apply for the Edith Eisler Strings Magazine Scholarship. Applications are open to all eligible string students enrolled in an accredited college or conservatory program and able to provide required proof of financial need. One $3,000 scholarship, plus a $1,000 gift certificate for purchases from Shar Music, will be awarded to a…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on March 28, 2013 at 4:30pm — No Comments
Fiddle/Sticks: The Drummer Project by Casey Driessen is a collaborative exploration of rhythm which pairs Casey—the leading voice in percussive fiddle/violin technique (a.k.a. the Chop)—with a list of the landmark drummers and percussionists of our time. Cutting across all genres and traditions, the project documents these rhythmic explorations through recordings, videos, photos and journals. It serves as an inspirational and instructional resource for drummers, percussionists, fiddlers and…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on March 13, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Lambert Orkis performed March 4 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco at a recital that unofficially marked the 25th anniversary of their union as chamber partners. Officially, the two musicians were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski, and their passionate performance of his 1984 “Partita” was a big part of the reason Mutter and Orkis received multiple curtain…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on March 5, 2013 at 3:58pm — No Comments
This year’s conference of the American String Teachers Association was held February 27–March 2, in Providence, Rhode Island.
Though attendance was slightly smaller than it has been for the past few years, this year’s ASTA conference was filled with workshops to nurture and inspire players and teachers; the annual competition of high school orchestras; and an exhibit floor of learning materials, prominent string educators and…Continue
Added by Greg Olwell on March 4, 2013 at 4:00pm — No Comments
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Added by Greg Cahill on February 14, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments
According to a new article in the Atlantic:
"Here's something you can try at home: Hold down the index, middle, and ring fingers of your left hand, then try to bend your pinky. Now try it again, but allow your ring finger to bend as well.Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on February 14, 2013 at 10:39am — No Comments
Several string players took home awards at the 55th Grammy awards held February 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Violist Kim Kashkashian won the “Best Classical Instrumental Solo” category for her album Kurtág & Ligeti: Music for Viola (read Corrine Ramey’s interview with Kaskahian in this month’s Strings magazine). Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Stuart Duncan took home “Best Folk Album”…Continue
Added by Greg Cahill on February 11, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments
LA-based music critic and longtime 'Strings' contributor Laurence Vittes—our man in Colombia—has posted a new blog from the 7th annual Cartagena Int'l Music Festival. http://bit.ly/VGyJBc
Added by Greg Cahill on January 7, 2013 at 1:30pm — No Comments
What is the most important issue for the left hand is for it to be relaxed. There are different schools of thought of how the left hand should be. Some violinists play with the fingerboard resting on the web of the hand between the thumb and index finger. This is based on the Russian school of violin playing training and is shown in the example…Continue
December 10 is the 25th anniversary of Jascha Heifetz's passing. Read Katie Robbins' report on the Colburn School's restoration of the famous fiddler's studio. And view a video of violin instructor and Heifetz Chair holder Robert Lipsett in action in the studio, along with a photo gallery of artifacts found there. http://bit.ly/UxCcz6
Added by Greg Cahill on December 10, 2012 at 1:37pm — No Comments
STRINGS contributor and violin teacher Laurel Thomsen has posted the latest episode in her VIOLIN GEEK podcast. It's free and iTunes. http://bit.ly/R9Ttxu
How many electric players are on STRINGS community page? What kind of gear do you own? What do you like about the sonic palette of electric stringed instruments? If you're not plugged in, have you ever thought about it? http://bit.ly/Tjk2jz
'Strings' mag's interactive digital edition (already iOS ready) is now available for Kindle Fire. Learn more and download the Android app at http://amzn.to/Q540xo
Added by Greg Cahill on October 30, 2012 at 4:03pm — No Comments
Read how the Beatles—who mark their 50th anniversary this month—launched the string revolution, not with 1966's "Eleanor Rigby," as was recently claimed in one prominent British music magazine (tsk, tsk), but a year earlier with "Yesterday." This fab 2005 "Strings" archive article sets the record straight. http://bit.ly/S1yqfX
Added by Greg Cahill on October 26, 2012 at 11:32am — No Comments
Violin teacher and Strings contributor Laurel Thomsen offers helpful hints on how to troubleshoot your bowing problems in the Strings Guide to Improving Your Bowing. Find free violin and viola bowing tips, and other insightful instructional videos, on the AllThingsStrings YouTube channel.
Added by Greg Cahill on October 26, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments