Discovering new sound possibilities for the string quartet

By: Anton Ilyunin from the Atrium String Quartet

www.atriumquartet.com/

In 2014, a close relationship between the Atrium String Quartet and Larsen Strings was initiated.

Last autumn, Larsen Strings had invited all four members of our quartet for a visit to their headquarters in Sonderborg, Denmark. There we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Larsen and his team. Long talks and very exciting string-testing sessions for each of us brought us closer to the essence of Larsen Strings.

Of course, we already knew the Larsen brand as we had been playing on Larsen’s strings for a long time. Our cellist Anna had always used Larsen A and D strings. Alexey and I had fallen for Larsen Virtuoso strings right from the time, they came into the market. As for Dmitry, he was looking for a new solution for his viola.

Larsen Strings’ product development manager, Dr. Thomas Zwieg, opened for us new horizons of string sounds which we did not expect to be possible. It is quite incredible how string combinations can change the sound of an instrument. It is indeed a very interesting process, and we ended up with optimal set-ups for the entire quartet.

It was a privilege for all four members of the quartet to have the opportunity of meeting the team of Larsen Strings and we are very thankful to Mr. Larsen and Dr. Zwieg for helping us discover new sound possibilities for the string Quartet.

 

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Larsen Strings A/S is celebrating its 25th Anniversary

It started with experiments in a garage in Sønderborg. On 25 June 2015 Larsen Strings A/S is celebrating its 25th Anniversary as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of strings for bowed instruments.

Back in 1990 Laurits Th. Larsen, then a violinist at the South Denmark Philharmonic, was contacted by a friend from the USA. The friend urgently needed some cello strings, but the delivery time from the producer was between 12 and 16 months.

– “I spontaneously answered something like ’Don’t worry, I’ll make you some’. And that promise was the beginning of Larsen Strings”, Laurits Th. Larsen says.

Laurits Th. Larsen worked hard to keep his promise, and after 18 months of experiments in the garage he was ready to present the result.

– Laurits Th. Larsen tells: “The responses were extremely positive – the rumour of my strings spread rapidly, and the demand continued to increase.”

At the beginning the production of strings was made on a 100 year old machine – since then development as well as production made a quantum leap. Not least due to the musician from Sønderborg who himself is behind the development of all the high technology machinery today producing Larsen strings for violin, viola and cello for the whole world.

’It’s all about people’

It is essential for Laurits Th. Larsen to underline the fact that for him the most important thing always was the personal relations in a branch demanding both a musical and a human good ear!

“Worldwide less than 10 companies produce strings at the same level as we do, and – as we use to say – ’it’s all about people’.  If there are no human relations in what we do – whether it is in development, in production or in the interaction with our customers and partners – we lose focus. When introducing new products we cannot sell a sound via the internet. We have to go out and meet our customers”, Laurits Th. Larsen says and he continues: “A good string could be compared with a tire – depending on the tire you choose, you can improve your hold on the road or your fuel efficiency, but as a string manufacturer the artistic goal is to create a string that gives the musician the highest degree of freedom to create his own expression.

With 25 years as a prominent figure not only of Larsen Strings A/S, but also the branch in general, the founder of Larsen Strings A/S passed a milestone last year, as he was 60. However, Laurits Th. Larsen has no plans to retire. “I will continue as long as I enjoy what we do.  And I have indeed enjoyed it and still do!”

 

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Testing Magnacore cello strings with Simon Morris and Larsen Strings

Here is the first in a series of many videos to come where we test strings with musicians, violin-makers and dealers. Please enjoy this video made at Beare’s in London. We hope it will bring you additional insights about the feeling, projection and sound of our strings.

Working with you to discover the soul of your instrument: We couldn’t do it without you!

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This week’s visiting musician was violist Johan Korsfeldt

Johan Korsfeldt came by this week to test some strings with us. He brought a very old friend of mine with him: A viola from the Canadian violinmaker Ivo Johannes Loerakker, which I had the pleasure of playing from 1990 to 2011. When talking about strings Johan said:

“I want strings that give me something to work with, rather than boring compact sounding strings… Rather a Rolls-Royce than a BMW…”

Thank you for the visit and enjoy the strings!

jk

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Welcome to Larsen Strings’ blog


Larsen Virtuoso

 

Made with love and passion

Made with love and passion is not just another slogan. Larsen Strings thrives to produce strings that, to the widest extent possible, allow musicians to express nuances in the music, constantly reducing the distance between composer and audience. In fact, the founder and director of Larsen Strings, Laurits Th. Larsen himself, was playing the violin as a member of the South Danish Philharmonic before starting to produce strings. When, in 1999, he was asked why he attended all nine days of the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition, Laurits Th. Larsen answered:

“I am deeply interested both in how all of these young talents play and which instruments they are playing. How they think, how they sound and how they cope with Danish music. If I was not deeply devoted to music, I would not be manufacturing strings. I still consider myself primarily a musician…”

The dedication of Larsen Strings to music is fundamental to its pursuits of developing, producing and globally market strings of the finest quality for bowed instruments.

And this is why we can truly affirm that every Larsen string is made with love and passion.

The purpose of this blog

We aim at establishing a community where string players and others with an interest in this field can share their thoughts. Discussing music, music making as well as general subjects of interest to string players, we hope to awake your interest in our community.

Being in the business of string making we have specific knowledge which we would like to share with you. It is therefore the intention of this blog to bring technical insight regarding strings and string instruments.

However, it takes people to form a community. Therefore, one of the focus of this blog are the people who play Larsen strings. Who are they, and why do they choose to play Larsen? Please join the discussion.

We couldn’t do it without you!

In order to fully understand the relationship between musician and listener we need you: Your comments, ideas, wishes, experience, maybe even your dreams… This blog is an invitation for you to take part in the journey towards the perfect match between musicians, instruments, strings, and listeners.

Please feel free to contribute as much as you like and become part of our community.

 

 

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