Be HIP – Style Matters! with Lucy Russell


When you purchase your session with Lucy Russell, she will get in touch with you to arrange a mutually convenient time.

Style Matters! from the clothes you chose to wear, how you do your hair, the way you furnish your home. These are conscious decisions we all make. I would like to encourage you to get stylish with your playing! Shake up habitual patterns and responses to music and find new meaning in everything you play. Listen to yourself, hear yourself. Are you making conscious decisions or are you on automatic pilot and simply playing the violin?
There’s more to violin playing than playing it well. Here’s an opportunity to explore, question and give your playing a make-over! Bring along repertoire ranging from Baroque through to early 20th Century.


I embrace ALL styles of music, but I have a particular affection for HIP (Historically Informed Performance). For me, the greater the knowledge and awareness of this subject, the more kaleidoscopic, three-dimensional, probing and informed your own playing will become. It’s not just about digging up treatises (though these are a fascinating and essential guide – like a modern-day blog), it’s about satisfying your curiosity and being a musical anthropologist!

Why did the French play so differently from the Germans and the Italians in the 18th Century?
How did the way they play set them apart?
How did their own music influence the rest of Europe?
How come Purcell adopted the inégal style in London?

Lots of questions and lots of answers to be unearthed.

HIP isn’t just about baroque repertoire – it encompasses several centuries of music, right up to the 20th. Listen to old recordings of Elgar’s music being performed and you’ll detect abundant use of portamenti, for example.

I’ve played a huge array of repertoire and have posed many questions about issues of style, and I believe that STYLE MATTERS!

It matters because music should not all be played the same way, with the same tone, vibrato, bow use etc. One should be able to detect an era, country and language as a result of HOW the music is being played.

This involves not just informing oneself about a time period, but learning how to produce new sounds, shapes and phrasing on your instrument. Whilst we don’t know exactly how our predecessors played, we can use our ingenuity to reinvent and bring a given work new life – based on knowledge and a healthy measure of imagination!

I would like to encourage you to unwrap the sweeties from this particularly enticing tin and savour the full array of flavours and textures. Whether you are a period instrument player or modern, there is so much to explore!

“Lucy Russell is one of those musicians whose performing skills are amazingly wide ranging, enabling her to demonstrate the depth of her musicianship in many fields.
Whether it is as the leader of the Fitz 4tet, leading Baroque orchestras, or as a solo violinist, her versatility is at the service of her inspiring musicianship. It has always been a pleasure to share a stage with her!”
Moray Welsh, Solo cellist, Ex Principal of the London Symphony Orchestra

“Lucy has all the requisites one looks for in a first class tutor: deep expertise and knowledge of her instrument and of how to get the most out of it technically and expressively, whether solo or collaborative, pre classical or modern (and all between), working with supportive tact and persuasive enthusiasm at every level from student and amateur to professional. She has a devoted following.”
Peter Hewitt, Chief Executive of Benslow Music

“The extraordinary range of her talents as a performer, teacher and thinker have inspired my work for all this time. Lucy’s ability to play period and modern violin with equal facility, flair and imagination is key to her amazing success in performing this range of repertoire… She is naturally comfortable working with young and experienced musicians. She is generous, creative, understanding, patient, demanding and challenging in equal measure.”
Jeffrey Skidmore, Director of Ex Cathedra, OBE

Practical Information

Who is it for: earnest amateurs and aspiring pros
Tutor: Lucy Russell
Number of particpants: 1
Length of session: 75 minutes
Number of sessions: as required
Dates and times: to be arranged at a mutually convenient time
Cost: £60 per session. Book a block of 6 one to one sessions for £300 here, ( saving £60)
InsideOut Musician offers bursaries to those on a low income. If you wish to apply for one for this course, please view the Busary Fund page.

What you need to bring:
Yourself and a desire for some fresh thinking!