Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pearl Violins

The Daniel Pearl Foundation congratulates teen violin and fiddle players Ian Stewart (16) of Austin and Sam Weiser (14) of Norwalk, winners of the 2008 Daniel Pearl Memorial Violins. Recently selected at the Mark O'Connor Strings Conference in San Diego, California, these up and coming musicians will have full use of the handcrafted instruments for a year; including appearances in October to be dedicated as part of the 7th Annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days.

The Daniel Pearl Memorial Violins were crafted by luthier Jonathan Cooper of Maine, in honor of Daniel Pearl, the journalist and talented musician who played violin and fiddle wherever he traveled. Past winners from the U.S.and Canada have become ongoing ambassadors for the Daniel Pearl World Music Days; using the power of music to transcend boundaries and unite people in Harmony for Humanity. The winners join our global network of concerts in dedicating their October performances to commemorate Danny's October 10th birthday.

"Each year at my String Camp, students who demonstrate great potential and/or exceptional talent are awarded the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violins, said American classical and multi genre violinist and composer Mark O'Connor, a member of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days Honorary Committee. As these students practice and perform with the Pearl violins for a year -until the following Camp, when new students receive the instruments - they may come to appreciate the thirst for knowledge and message of healing that defined Pearl's life and career."

String Camp Students Spread Message Of Hope - Ian Stewart and Sam Weiser will play on the Pearl violins for one year

16 year old violinist, fiddler, and mandolin player Ian Stewart of Austin, Texas began studying classical violin at the age of six in his hometown of Austin, Texas. His musical journey took a turn when he attended his first Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp at the age of 10 where he discovered traditional American and world music. He has excelled in region and state contests and will be performing at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago in December. Ian is also one of the founding members of the cross-genre Americana band The Fireants; 2008 winners of the New Talent Competition at the local Old Settlers Music Festival and a regular fixture on the vibrant Austin music scene.

"Being this years recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin is an incredible opportunity for me to be part of this visionary mission. The message is formed from the simple idea that music is one of the common languages of mankind and can bridge what divides us. I am overwhelmingly honored to have this award pass through my hands and I hope to bring Daniels message to the widest possible audience."

Fourteen-year old Sam Weiser of Norwalk, Connecticut began Suzuki violin at the early age of 3. Talented on violin, viola, mandolin and guitar, he has played for numerous charitable and civic organizations at diverse venues including Carnegie Hall. Currently, the First Violinist in the Apollo Quartet; he was Concertmaster for the Norwalk Youth Symphony from 2004-2007, and in 2008 became the youngest first violinist in its Principal Orchestra. A runner up in the 2007 ASTA's National Alternative Strings Competition, Sam has performed professionally with both Mark O'Connor and with Yale Strom, one of the country's leading Klezmer musicians.

"It is an honor for me to receive the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin. It has brought upon me the determination and commitment to send a message of peace through the language of music. It also has inspired me to explore new ways of connecting to people and promoting Daniel's mission of tolerance."

October Is The Month That Musicians Can Dedicate Their Concerts To Raising Awareness

Daniel Pearl's murder by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002 touched millions who never knew him. By developing international programs focused on journalism, music and dialogue, the Daniel Pearl Foundation seeks to counter the hatred and intolerance that took his life.

Daniel Pearl World Music Days is an awareness raising network, not a fundraiser, and there is no financial obligation to participate. Musicians of every genre- professional, amateur, and youth- simply register their prescheduled or specially planned October performances at, and make a statement from the stage or in the printed program in support of the Harmony for Humanity theme. Since its inception in 2002, more than 2000 concerts in 75 countries have been dedicated.

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