Violinist Lisa Batiashvili discusses her empathy with Shostakovich’s music and we discover what happens when top instruments are stolen. We also visit the Amsterdam Cello Biennale, explore the history of gut strings and appraise the career of Russian pedagogue Yuri Yankelevich. Plus, Norman Lebrecht asks whether concertmasters have lost their punch.
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Maxim Vengerov talks about his lifelong learning curve and we learn the teaching methods of Heifetz, Gingold and Galamian. There’s a look at conservatoire auditions and Guy Johnston discusses Mendelssohn in Masterclass. Plus Sartory, Guadagnini and Aldo Parisot in this 144-page bumper issue