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Digital Subscriptions > The Strad > June 2019 > SOUNDPOST


Letters, emails, online comments


‘Thanks to the internet, performances are sounding more and more similar, ’ writes Albena Danailova (Life Lessons, April 2019). Had she been present at last year’s Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hanover, she would have witnessed six performances that were not only technically immaculate but also utterly individual in terms of style and personality. Likewise at the Menuhin Competition in Geneva last April, the de¦ning attribute of all the ¦nalists was their unique individualism. I also note that many of today’s competition winners are products of certain tutors, for example Zakhar Bron – but who would claim that the sound worlds of Vengerov, Repin and Hope are too similar-sounding?

When I was studying the violin it always irked me when members of the older generation said they could ‘recall a time when you could listen outside a practice room and identify a player as Russian school, Franco –Belgian school’ or wherever. In my view, the waning of the various ‘schools’ has led not to a homogeneity of playing styles, but rather a freedom in the minds of young players that they can expand and develop their expressivity in the way they see fit

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About The Strad

We conclude our investigation of Stradivari’s moulds and examine some radical teaching methods. Vadim Gluzman, Philip Dukes and Matthew Barley are interviewed and there’s our annual Accessories supplement, featuring carbon fibre bows, wolf eliminators, mutes and lots more.