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Precision performance

Revitalising the techniques and performance style of music from the 'long 18th century'.

Claire Holden and Robin Stowell playing violin

Performances of music of the 'long 18th Century' have lacked historical accuracy. Cardiff University School of Music has sought to promote evidence-based 'period' techniques to enhance the understanding of musicians and audiences worldwide.

A fresh and exciting interpretation of a familiar work

BBC Music Magazine’s Orchestral Disc 2010 Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s recording

Firing minds and refining methods

Projects led by Professor Robin Stowell have sought to restore the original performance methods to the historic period known as the 'long 18th Century' (typically, 1688-1815). Stowell was concerned that performances of music from that era lacked historical accuracy (e.g. fingering techniques, bowing styles, the application of vibrato and other expressive elements).

Through publications, talks, lectures and collaborations with conductors and performers, Stowell has fired imaginations and illuminated practice. His work has influenced performers and conductors to revise their performance approaches and draw on the 'period' string techniques and style that he has promoted.

Success in the studio

Stowell's research has influenced the playing styles in commercial recording collaborations with Moldavan violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and American Jacqueline Ross. These recordings have been very favourably received.

Transforming performances worldwide

Stowell's research has made a decisive contribution towards transforming performances of music of the 'long 18th century' in terms of string techniques, style and general performance practice issues. His advice has influenced a significant body of recorded orchestral work worldwide.

Meet our experts

Professor Robin Stowell

Professor Robin Stowell

Emeritus Professor, School of Music


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