PALMETTO -- Some of the world's best musicians spent their day at Manatee School for the Arts working with students on their techniques and skills as performers.
Itzhak Perlman's music program brought the world-renowned Ariel Quartet to the area, offering local students a rare opportunity to work with top talent. The quartet, which includes musicians from Israel, Russia and Germany, taught a master class for students at the Manatee School for the Arts on Friday as part of The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast's "Education Outreach Program."
Manatee School for the Arts was the quartet's first stop in their series of sessions in Manatee and Sarasota county schools.
Musicians Alexandra (Sasha) Kazovsky of Russia, Amit Even-Tov of Israel, Jan Grüning of Germany, and Gershon Gerchikov of Israel worked closely with the local students. They critiqued the students' work before working with
them to put on a concert and then followed with a question-and-answer session.
Quartet members taught students how to relax and be confident when performing in front of an audience.
"When you walk on stage, there should be something magical happening," Even-Tov said. She took the hands of one nervous student and had her jump up and down.
"Go crazy!" she said. "Scream 'I don't care!' Don't worry about mistakes."
The quartet also encouraged the students, who inquired about playing modern music and pop on string, to appreciate classical music.
"Classical string quartet is still a popular medium," Even-Tov said.
During their concert, the quartet explained the mood, characteristics, keys and rhythm of each piece. Bassist Miles Demint, celloist Maya Adair, violinist Seth Hall, violinist Patricia Meelian, and viola player Jada Smith were selected to put on a concert for their peers.
Demint said he wants to be a professional double bassist or work as a music teacher. Adair said she would like to play in a symphony, perhaps even the New York Philharmonic.
The Ariel Quartet will continue giving concerts and classes through the Perlman Music Program next week.
Their schedule is as follows:
n A concert at the Venice Church of the Nazarene at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 25
n Orchestra classes at Venice High School at 12:35 and 1:30 p.m. Feb. 26
n A concert at the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee at 7 p.m. Feb. 26
n An advanced music class at Sarasota High School at 12:30 p.m. and a master class at 1:25 p.m. Feb. 27
n String and performance classes at the Out of Door Academy in Sarasota at 8and 10:30 a.m., and a concert with a question and answer session at 9:15 a.m. Feb. 28
For more information on upcoming classes, visit www.PerlmanMusicProgramSuncoast.org.