On Thursday, 25 September 2019, four young violinists and a cellist from the Zakhar Bron School of Music performed with the Capella Sonorus chamber orchestra at the concert hall “Upper Town” in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. They presented the program “Young Alpine Virtuosos”.
Performing in concerts is extremely important for young musicians. It is not only an exciting opportunity to play in front of an audience, but also part of the musical education. At the Zakhar Bron School of Music we consider it a crucial part of the musical development and therefore we try to organize as many concerts as possible for our students. We also put a lot of effort to encourage our students to perform at already established concerts and festivals, such as the Zaubersee Festival in Lucerne, the Erlenbach Music Festival and many others.
For example, in the academic year 2018-2019 our students performed at 20 concerts and festivals in Switzerland and abroad. Since the academic year lasts about ten months, this means that students perform in concerts every two weeks on average. Together with ongoing intensive tuition at the school and participation in master classes, this concert practice promotes the rapid professional growth of our students. This explains why our students won 19 prizes (including 12 first prizes) at national and International competitions in the last school year.
Performances with chamber and symphony orchestras occupy a special place in this concept. This requires the most serious preparation of the students, because the children must perform under the conductor’s direction and be prepared to engage in a dialogue with the entire orchestra. This is much more demanding than going on stage and performing alone or accompanied by a pianist. Since such performances require serious preparation and a professional level of playing (according to the age of the child, of course!), such concerts are offered to the most advanced students of the school.
This time our school was represented by four young violinists: Vlada Sabella (9), Nina Gringolts (11), Ilva Eigus (12) and Sophie Branson (13), and also a cellist – Benjamin Branson (10). Despite the young age, both Ilva and Sophie already have a great deal experience of performing with orchestras. For Vlada, Nina and Benjamin this concert was a debut. On the Minsk stage our “young alpine virtuosos” presented famous masterpieces of classical music: The “Seasons” by Vivaldi, Mozart’s 3rd Violin Concerto, the “Zigeunerweisen” by Sarasate, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saëns and other famous pieces.
The hall was sold out and the reaction of the audience was extremely warm, with much applause and encouraging “Bravo!” for each performer. The concert was covered in the local press and also by the national TV channel, which gave our students the opportunity to appear on Belarusian television.