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And breathe…

Reflecting on forty-odd years of making music – whether in the basement of a Cornish fisherman’s cottage or in prestigious concert halls – I realise that my teachers, my teachers’ teachers, the musicians who have touched me and, in turn, their teachers, all spring from one source: Pablo Casals. My yoga practice also returns to a single person, the Italian teacher Vanda Scaravelli. What attracts me to both figures is that they draw constantly on natural principles, such as breath, gravity and the wave. I have often thought how much they would have liked one another had they met.

A well-grounded body can become still, much in the way a bowl of water becomes still if undisturbed. This is quite different from becoming stiff like a brick wall. Both may be unmoving but only the bowl of water has the potential for movement.

Peter Blackaby, Intelligent Yoga (2012)

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About The Strad

The Shanghai Quartet celebrates its 35th anniversary and we hand on some yoga tips for string players. There’s an in-depth look at Stradivari’s working methods and Shostakovich’s violin works. Plus Maxim Rysanov’s Life Lessons and Rivka golani’s Sentimental Work

Other Articles in this Issue

The Strad
The Shanghai Quartet celebrates its 35th anniversary
(Making Matters, page 70) trained in violin making
Letters, emails, online comments
News and events from around the world this month
A metronome that aims to prepare musicians for the
The Ukrainian violist on long pedagogical relationships and the surprises of concert life
Despite the large number of young and talented British string players, few seem to make an impact as leading soloists on the world stage. Charlotte Gardner explores the reasons for this phenomenon
Stradfest, The Strad’s first live event for budding musicians, tackled a range of issues connected to building an interesting career - and brought together a wide variety of young and enthusiastic string players, writes Charlotte Smith
The Shanghai Quartet celebrates its 35th anniversary during the 2018–19 season by performing eight complete Beethoven cycles around the world. The players speak to Charlotte Smith about forming at a time when Western chamber music was barely understood in their native China, and about promoting the art form to Chinese audiences and students today
Twelve violin moulds from Antonio Stradivari’s workshop still survive, but how do they correspond to the master’s oeuvre? In the first of two articles, Philip Ihle and Andrea Zanrè present the results of an exhaustive survey to match forms to finished instruments
Fifty years ago David Oistrakh premiered Shostakovich’s Violin Sonata, written for the violinist’s 60th birthday. Only two further works by Shostakovich for solo violinist survive: the concertos, both for Oistrakh. Andrew Morris examines all three pieces, uncovering their interpretative challenges in conversation with Gidon Kremer, Julia Fischer and Vadim Gluzman
Trio con Brio Copenhagen is marking its 20th anniversary by recording the complete Beethoven piano trios. Andrew Mellor attends a session for the group’s third volume, including the monumental ‘Archduke’
Identifying the varnish recipes of the early makers has been a long-held dream among researchers. Now, a team at the Arvedi Laboratory of Non-Invasive Diagnostics, headed by Marco Malagodi, has used a new form of micro-CT scanning to delve further into an instrument’s coatings than ever before
There is a close connection between yogic principles and string playing technique, says cellist Ruth Phillips, who illustrates this with postures chosen in collaboration with her colleague Jane Fenton, and reveals how both Pablo Casals and yoga guru Vanda Scaravelli have informed her musical ideas
Paolo De Barbieri was born in 1889 in Genoa. In 1902
A methodical way of completing this elegant but delicate part of the making process
A peek into lutherie workshops around the world
Eric Benning recalls how, with the help of the late William Watson, he identified a long-lost instrument case from the Hill workshop that exemplifies the immaculate workmanship of a bygone age
Philippe Graffin explores how to create an orchestra of abstract colours and characters in the first movement of the French composer’s last chamber work
The art of using finger, wrist and biceps to create a bel canto effect integral to our sound
Your monthly critical round-up of performances, recordings and publications
What sets a virtuoso player apart from an amateur, asks James A.
Stradivari’s moulds -part two Andrea Zanrè and Philip
As well as giving the first performance of Michael Colgrass’s Chaconne, the
DEGREES 2019-20
Welcome to Degrees 2019-20 -your international guide
Questions to help you find the right course and to prepare you for life as a student
Find out where you can study with some of the string world’s most in-demand pedagogues
Post-baccalaureate Diploma, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg
Master of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki
Bachelor of Music, New Zealand School of Music (NZSM), Wellington
Bachelor of Arts, music, City, University of London
Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland