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60 MIN READ TIME

Social harmony

Kavakos works on Bruch’s First Concerto with 13-year-old US violinist Anais Feller at his 2019 Masterclass in Athens

The audience may have assembled in the neo-classical building that is the Academy of Athens, but it is not to listen to members of this national research institution. We are here instead to find out what Leonidas Kavakos has to say as he hosts his eighth annual masterclass. The three-day event, organised in his home city by the Musical Horizons Conservatory, features violinists and the odd chamber group, chosen by Kavakos personally, with pianists Emi Munakata and Ai Motohashi on duty throughout.

Running this year from 19 to 21 April, the Leonidas Kavakos Masterclass (LKM) provides an engrossing insight into the violinist’s approach to music. It reveals a musician for whom the practicalities of music making are not only technical but based on social responsibility, and for whom musical individuality is balanced by respect for musical context. At the heart of this approach is something Sándor Végh told him early in his career, as he recalls when we meet the day after LKM has concluded.

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About The Strad

Double bassist Leon Bosch discusses his career, and we investigate the bass makers of Manchester. There’s an interview with early music pioneer Eduard Melkus and cellist Johannes Moser gives a Mendelssohn Masterclass. Plus Leonidas Kavakos’s teaching tips

Other Articles in this Issue


The Strad
It is self-evident that becoming an accomplished string
(Trade Secrets, page 60) has been working as a bow
Letters, emails, online comments
FRONT
News and events from around the world this month
Sitting on a stool, most bassists will rest the instrument
The British cellist, composer and founder of new music group Apartment House on John Cage and how visual art helped to open his mind
Conservatoires and youth orchestras in the UK too often imitable an excessive number of orchestral rehearsals and concerts. These rob students of precious hours of private pracice, writes violin teacher Simon Smith
This year’s Queen Elisabeth Compeiion in Belgium was devoted to the violin, and showcased a set of distinct and accomplished performances by the twelve ffinalists, as Tim omfray reports
At the Montreal Internaional Musical Compeiion, Tom Stewart heard a winning performance full of fire among a seriously impressive field of contestants
FEATURES
South African-born double bassist Leon Bosch has held top orchestral posts and performed as a soloist on multiple international stages since arriving in the UK in 1982. But, as he tells Kimon Daltas, now is not the time to rest on his laurels, as new works and new challenges await
The 19th century witnessed a thriving double bass making scene in the Manchester area of England. This northern school, which had its own distinct style points, flourished for a longer time than its southern counterpart, as Thomas Martin, Martin Lawrence and George Martin explain
Violinist Leonidas Kavakos this year presented his eighth Musical Horizons Conservatory masterclass series. Toby Deller attended the three-day event in Athens, during which Kavakos proved himself to be not only an intelligent and dedicated teacher, but also an advocate of social cohesion and personal responsibility through music
In an age of little numeracy or literacy, how did luthiers settle on the proportions of stringed instruments, with hardly any variation in their basic design? François Denis shows how the principles of the classical Greeks – notably Pythagoras – informed their thinking
Austrian violinist and violist Eduard Melkus turned 90 last year. Tully Potter speaks to colleagues, former pupils and the man himself – and outlines a far more diverse and varied career than his reputation for early music performance would suggest
REGULARS
Andrea Guarneri was the patriarch of one of the most
How to use gold, tortoiseshell and abalone in copies of works by the ‘father of the modern bow’
As far as I know, I’m still the only violin maker in
Joseph Curtin describes a quick and simple method for violinists to eliminate a wolf tone on their instrument, along with the science behind it.
Johannes Moser takes a look at tempo, dynamics and the relaionship between instruments in the exciing and energeic irst movement of the D major op.58 Sonata
Essenial foundaions for producing a jazz bass-line with good sound, rhythm and harmony
Your monthly critical round-up of performances, recordings and publications
Violinist Mavis Bacca Dowden reports from the fourth edition of the Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition, where Jaime Laredo was victorious and Joseph Silverstein came third
The players discuss their mentors and passing their
The Briish double bassist recalls his irst encounters with Iannis Xenakis’s solo work Theraps – including some frank exchanges with the composer himself