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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

As a journalist and critic I’m of the view that the basis for championing any artist must be excellence alone, regardless of nationality. However, I still find it exciting when the artist or ensemble blowing my socks off just happens to be British. Occasionally I sit musing with colleagues as to why we see so few British string players at worldwide competitions and with international careers, when there are plenty on our national music scene. Are we producing national- rather than international-level players, or is there something else going on?

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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