The schedule is in Porto Local Time (CET -1)

6:00pm to 6:30pm     Tech Help Session

Organizing Committee

The schedule is in Porto Local Time (CET -1)

6:00pm to 6:30pm       Opening Session

Organizing Committee

6:30pm to 7:30pm     String Masterclass

Perfect your sound

Speaker: Attila Pastzor (Thomastik-Infeld)

Understanding string tension isn’t always easy. Thomastik-Infeld product manager and cellist Attila Pasztor shares his string expertise in this exclusive keynote speech and explains what to keep in mind when choosing strings and how to keep them happy and healthy.

7:30pm to 9:30pm     Presidents’ Meeting

The schedule is in Porto Local Time (CET -1)

9 am to 10m       Registration

10am to 10:30am       Oppening Session

10:30am to 11:30am       Keynote D’addario


Strings 101: The Science, History, and Care of Strings

Speaker: Markus Lawrenson, UK

D’Addario has created a presentation that demystifies the strings on our instruments. By detailing the history and anatomy of strings, we hope that everyone will gain more understanding of what best suits their instrument, playing style, and playing level.  We’ll discuss everything that goes into making and playing on a string, including materials, maintenance, longevity, rosin, and everything in between.

12pm to 1:15pm       Workshop


Pick-Up Violins vs Microphones on Violins

Speaker: Joana Carvalhas (Portugal)

In this demonstration, Joana Carvalhas will explore this theme and discuss the pros and cons of both methods of amplification. The artist will also attempt to play the same song live on two different violins: one acoustic violin, where she will use a microphone, and an electric-acoustic violin (with an internal pick-up). Both violins will be from EASTMAN STRINGS – an innovative and versatile music company.

Room 1

How do you find a balanced and relaxed playing?

Speaker: Lars-Inge Bjärlestam (Sweden)

Through various cello exercises, I am looking to demonstrate how to further develop the strength and flexibility of the bowing hand. I will also cover posture and playing positions; the impact of breathing; the flexibility of the different arm joints; bowing techniques at different speeds; bow-string contact points; and feeling and balancing the weight of the bowing arm.

2:30pm to 4pm       Research Paper Presentations

                                      Panel 1: Interpretation and violin technique


Lost in History: The Rediscovery of Ma Sicong’s Cello Concerto in A Minor

Speaker: Diana Wuli (Australia)

Ma Sicong’s Cello Concerto in A minor is the first known cello concerto written by a Chinese composer and holds significant musical purpose on the performance practice, compositional technique, and pedagogical development of the cello in China during the 20th century … The purpose of this study is to create a scholarly performance edition of Ma Sicongs Cello Concerto for cello and piano orchestra reduction.


Evaluation rubrics for interpretations

Speaker: Inés Márquez (Spain)

The purpose of this work is to design, apply and evaluate a compendium of rubrics as an instrument for evaluating and informing teaching processes, allowing the measurement of the contents, objectives and competences acquired through the works performed in the entrance auditions to the different grades of Professional Music education in the specialty of violin.


First human being, then musician: Approaching the art of violin intonation from “inside and out”, not from “outside and in”.

Speaker: Katarina Veselinovic (Norway)

In this project I’m showing you how you may help yourself and your students during difficult periods in life. This project is helpful because I’m showing you how to deal with real situations.


Using AI to rethink violin technique

Speaker: Marcel Trussell (Australia)

This research seeks to understand how leading violinists produce their sound by using AI to diagnose their playing techniques. It is suggested that the use of empirical data such as this may be a more accurate guide to how to play well than received wisdom based on conjecture.


Character creation and interpretation as a means of musical expression and technical improvement.

Speaker: Mara Figueiredo (Portugal)

During the conference, a new methodology will be presented that aims to address the aforementioned problematics. This methodology involves the creation and interpretation of characters chosen by the students, based on imagery and specific keywords. The goal is to assess and reflect on the effectiveness of more traditional classroom approaches, develop mental strategies for confident presentations, and allow students to fully enjoy the already acquired violin technique in public performance contexts, with or without role-playing.

4:30pm to 5:30pm Masterclass

4:30pm to 5:30pm       Workshop

4:30pm to 7pm       Workshop


States of Future Present

Speaker: Rodrigo Malvar (Portugal)

I propose envisioning human presence through artistic explorations that intertwine future studies with imagination and engagement, shaping compellingly original narratives of people’s experiences.


Rethinking together strategies in string teaching

Speakers: Clarissa Foletto and Jorge Alves (Portugal)

This workshop centers around group dynamics, fostering interaction among participants. It provides a unique opportunity to reevaluate both existing and innovative pedagogical strategies aimed to overcoming common challenges in string teaching and learning.

Room XXX

Fiddle Gateway – tune learning sessions

Speaker: Barja Drnovšek and Bojan Cvetrežnik (Slovenia)

You are kindly invited to relax during the conference with short tune-learning sessions. Barja and Bojan will teach easy tunes, suitable for your students and joining the evening jam sessions at the conference. The database we created at is growing and we expect to provide also more information about tunes level or technical specialities soon.

5:30pm to 6:30pm       Round Table


Fiddle dynamics in Galicia during the 20th and 21st century

Speakers: Alfonso Franco; María Rosa Pampillo Retana & Susanna Blanco Novoa (Spain)

This panel on folk music will be presented by three professional researcher-musicians specialized in the fields of music business, performance, ethnomusicology, and pedagogy. To conduct this study, the researchers employed the quasi-experimental case study method as well as the ethnographic method through participant observation at concerts, festivals, courses, and conferences related to the fiddle in Europe, America, and Asia.

5:30pm to 6:30pm       Masterclass


Wellbeing and Healing Stage-Fright

Speakers: Rupert Guenther (Australia)

The masterclass guides participants on how to feel secure on stage, embracing their sensitivity and unique personality traits. It encourages them to immerse themselves in the love of the music’s sound instead of succumbing to nervousness. Participants learn how to be compassionate with themselves during performances, naturally redirecting their focus towards sharing their love for music rather than engaging in negative self-talk or fearing mistakes. The aim is to become a calming influence for the audience rather than a bundle of nerves.

7pm to 7:30pm       Concert

Galicia Fiddle Orchestra

The Galicia Fiddle Orchestra is an internationally recognized educational project. Our orchestra consists of young individuals aged 12 to 20, along with their teachers, and is complemented by esteemed musicians within the traditional Galician music scene, including Begoña Riobó, Anxo Pintos, Marina Carpente, Hugo Franco, Felipe Rodicio, and Alfonso Franco. Together, we comprise a total of 35 musicians, primarily violinists, but also featuring cellists, acoustic guitarists, traditional music percussionists, and vocalists like Claudia Abril.

ATRÍO Concert

This intriguing ensemble consists of three Galician musicians from Vigo. Each member of the trio is involved in independent musical projects: Alfonso Franco serves as the section director of the Sondeseu Folk Orchestra and directs the Galicia Fiddle Association; Claudia Abril contributes her voice and violin skills to the trio Abril, and Hugo Franco pursues a successful career in Barcelona as a producer and guitarist for folk violinists such as Roo Guedes or Craigh Juddelman.

9am to 10:30am Lecture

StringsART: Connecting teachers, students, researchers and performers

Speakers: Anna Modesti; Cristina Bellu; Andreas Cincera & Hubert Eiholzer (Italy)

StringsART is a database designed to enhance the integration of research, teaching, and performance in string instruments. To achieve this, StringsART consolidates journal articles, books, and other resources from diverse teaching and performance traditions and various areas of scientific research.

Tools and games for major technical elements in violin lessons

Speaker: Ines Ana Tomić (Croatia)

In this presentation, Ms. Tomić will showcase representative applications from her own practice. According to the “from the known to the unknown” principle, these applications enable students to learn the main technical elements of violin playing in a fun, child-friendly, and comprehensible manner. These elements include proper posture, bow hold, percussion, vibrato, shifting, and bow strokes.

Problematizing the concept of “Connecting People” in the classical conservatoire culture.

Speaker: João Costa (Portugal)

Framed by roles as a cellist, music teacher, project manager, and researcher, this presentation brings attention to the misalignment between 1) discourses advocating a humanist vision of education and 2) dominant practices in teaching and musical education. It also aims to problematize the overly positive assessment of the Portuguese musical education system, shedding light on problematic aspects often overshadowed by the system’s success stories.

The influence of André Navarra on (Belgian) cello playing

Speaker: Mark Lambrecht (Belgium)

André Navarra was one of the four great French cellists in the twentieth century, together with Pierre Fournier, Maurice Gendron and Paul Tortelier. I’ll start my lecture with a short biography about Navarra. Although Navarra also had a rich orchestral and solo career, teaching has always been very important for him. He developed a fabulous new bow technique which he adopted partly from the violinist Carl Flesch, where he used very flexible fingers. 

The next generation – A project at the Sibelius Academy that fosters interest in music, motivation and potential at an early age

Speaker: Yvonne Frye (Finland)

This lecture presents a unique and innovative project at the Sibelius Academy that has been running for one year: The “Next Generation” project aims to support children with a special interest and motivation to play an instrument at an early stage of learning by creating a nurturing, inspiring environment where attention to socio-emotional needs is fundamental. The basic structural idea is to increase the number of instrumental lessons per week to give these children the space and freedom they need to learn.

The Legacy of Leopold Auer: His Connection, Adoption and Creation.

Speaker: Heng-Ching Fang (UK)

Leopold Auer (1845-1930) was a Hungarian-American violinist and teacher. He instructed numerous eminent violinists, including Mischa Elman, Efrem Zimbalist, Nathan Milstein, and Jascha Heifetz. Serving as a violin professor at St. Petersburg Conservatory for almost half a century (1868-1917), Auer rightfully founded The Russian Violin School alongside colleagues Henri Vieuxtemps and Henryk Wieniawski. (…) This lecture will showcase the influence of international interaction and demonstrate the importance of cooperative relationships in string teaching and performance. Diverse cultures can interact, stimulating new artistic approaches and activities.

2.00pm -4.00pm

Delegates’ meeting

Central Board

8.30am-8.50am    Research Paper – Master students

Room 2

Synchronization in group music – Action research project with the violin section from a student symphony orchestra

Speaker: Gonçalo Melo (Portugal)

Much research on the synchronization in ensemble music has been done in the past twenty years. Studies in this field frequently involve musicians performing in small groups such as string quartets. Based on some of this research and with the goal of finding new effective ways of rehearsing student ensembles, a project was carried out during sectional rehearsals of the violin section from a symphonic orchestra made up of young students.

11h.15am to 1.00pm      Closing Session

Room 1

Round table: Bridges Between Research and Practice

Speakers: Cristina Bellu (France), Philip Aird (United Kingdom), Francisco Cardoso (Portugal). Wolfgang Klos (Austria), Claudio forcada (United Kingdom), Jorge Alves (Portugal)

Chair: Clarissa Foletto (Portugal)

This round table aims to bring together string teachers and researchers to discuss the conference theme “Bridges between research and practice“. This theme concerns to the existent gap of the dissemination of knowledge production in academia and its application in practical contexts of teaching and learning. Therefore, we aim to enrich the perspectives on both sides and to find some answers for questions about the development and dissemination of our collective knowledge and experience about string teaching. 

15.00pm      NEW! Special Session

Bruno Giuranna and Mark Lambrecht, 9 years of presidency for ESTA: memories and looking at the future.

Chair: Kjell-Åke Hamrén and Mariana Morais
Panel: Bruno Giuranna, Mark Lambrecht and future President and Vice-president of ESTA International.

Connecting people through Pedagogical Repertoire

Speaker: Sanja Repše (Slovenia)

There is a significant gap in the pedagogical repertoire available for children in their early years of learning the cello. When I discuss this with cellists outside Slovenia, we observe the same issue. I have composed Four Concertinos for cello and piano specifically designed for young cello pupils.

The Seed of Art in String Teaching

Speaker: Dobrila Berković (Croatia)

Communication problems are the basic issues these days. The lack of communication is the cause of a great number of divorces, bad relationships between parents and children, conflicts between countries, wars… As we are all starting to be aware of “global heating,” we should also be aware of “emotional cooling.”

Connecting positions – child-centered shifting

Speaker: Géza Szilvay (Finland)

The Colourstrings method utilizes octave natural harmonics (the finger touching the exact halfway point along the vibrating string) to facilitate the movement of the pupil’s left hand from 1st position to middle and even high positions. The primary objective of these exercises with octave natural harmonics is to cultivate a relaxed left hand, including the thumb, through gentle early shifting movements. Initially, the 4th finger should be used for the octave natural harmonics, but gradually, the exercises can be played with all other fingers of the left hand. Following the octave natural harmonics, Colourstrings introduces the fifth (finger touches exactly one-third along the vibrating string), fourth (exactly one-quarter along the vibrating string), and third (exactly four-fifths along the vibrating string length) natural harmonics. Through these natural harmonics or flute-like notes, played with lightly touching fingers, young pupils can easily explore the entire fingerboard long before the conscious change of position is taught.

Doublebass Masterclass

José Trigo (Portugal)

Born in 1997 in Mirandela, he began his musical studies at the age of 11 under the guidance of Alexandre Samardjiev. In 2018/2019 he was academist in the Cologne Radio Orchestra (WDR Sinfonieorchester) and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. (…) In 2019 he completed his Bachelor’s degree at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim with Petru Iuga and in 2022 his Master’s degree with Dorin Marc in Nuremberg. Since 2019 he has been a member of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (co-principal) and since 2021 assistant professor at the Music University in Mannheim.