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Digital Subscriptions > The Strad > June 2019 > Life lessons Matthew Barley

Life lessons Matthew Barley

The British cellist on memory, nationalism and his long journey - via a skiing accident - to technical confidence

‘I’ve had to reset my technique three times. First, when I started at music college in London aged 18 and went right back to open strings. Then when I went to study at the Moscow Conservatoire – where a completely different approach was required – and again aged 40 after a skiing accident forced me to build things up from scratch once again. The Russian school is all about making sure the hands are set in the correct position right from the start so that your technique is established while you’re still a child. Unfortunately, growing up in Sheffield I didn’t develop those good habits and so all the shifting patterns that my wife, Viktoria Mullova, had under her fingers from childhood had to be drilled into me as an adult.

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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.