Michael writes for The Strad

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As he releases his new album of solo Italian violin repertoire, Michael writes for The Strad magazine all about Paganini’s great legacy as a composer and how his specific type of virtuosity inspires across the centuries.

How do we choose the right tempo?

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When we learn a piece of music, we assume that choosing the right tempo is going to be one of the principal problems. However, when we really consider the question, we must admit that there can’t be such a thing as one ‘right’ tempo (if there was, surely all the others would be wrong?).

Studying contemporary music can inform our understanding of earlier works

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Blog for strad.com A tendency in the classical music world is to limit oneself to a certain type of repertoire, with the idea being that this is the best way to acquire a deeper understanding of that particular genre, and how it should be played. While the advantages of this approach are apparent, there’s one obvious catch: ignoring other types of repertoire can limit one’s capacity to spot things that should be seen. It’s therefore important to remember that we learn about new music from older works, and – just as importantly – the opposite is true: we learn about … Read More

Pierre Boulez

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Pierre Boulez is one of, if not the most important musical figure of the last 70 years. All his activities have completely changed the way music, particularly from the 20th century, is played, heard, and generally accepted.