After months of practice and anticipation, performing in a music exam can feel like an adrenaline-fuelled sprint to the finish line that passes in a blur of pieces, scales and musical tests. As an exam board, we know that exams can be stressful, and we at ABRSM want to make sure that learners’ exam experiences are as positive as possible. To make sure that learners can really succeed, we carefully select exam syllabus pieces that allow them to demonstrate their talents. We live for inspiring and challenging learners!
If a music exam is a sprint, then our experience of putting together an exam syllabus is more of an endurance event involving a huge amount of music. We take an open approach to our syllabus creations, and for ABRSM’s Bowed Strings syllabus (2020-2023) we: ran multiple surveys with teachers, learners and examiners; engaged a variety of strings consultants; and had several ruthless stages of revisions.
Lynn Harrell – A Cellist’s Life is an extraordinary documentary feature film that chronicles the 60-year journey in music of renowned classical cellist Lynn Harrell who has performed around the world as a soloist with every major symphony orchestra. We learn about Lynn’s devastating childhood when he lost both parents (one to cancer, the other in a fatal car crash) to establishing a career as a virtuoso cellist collaborating with the most legendary musicians in history spanning multiple generations. The film includes fresh interviews with iconic musicians of the day such as the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinists Itzhak Perlman and Anne-Sophie Mutter, and Oscar-winning composers John Williams and André Previn. Lynn Harrell, a multiple Grammy-award winner, shares his personal revelations about universal themes such as overcoming tragedy, finding a higher purpose in art, what it means to grow old, and the power of music to change lives. His story will captivate and inspire.
1. Cello comes from the Italian term violoncello, which actually means “little violone.” (No, I didn’t spell violin wrong.) The violone is the lowest-pitched instrument in the viol family, a group of stringed instruments that were used primarily before the eighteenth century. During the twentieth century, it became customary to abbreviate violoncello as “cello.”
2. The cello is actually part of the violin family, which came into prominent use in the eighteenth century. There are several differences between instruments in the viol family and violin family. more “Ten Interesting Cello Facts”…