Student string quartet makes debut in Italy

Taylor Wallace, Ben Martin, Xinyi Yan, and Natalie Rocke pose with instruments at the festivalFour musicians from Miami participated in the Fiato al Brasile Festival in Faenza, Italy, with students from five other schools in Brazil and Italy. Taylor Wallace, Ben Martin, Xinyi Yan, and Natalie Rocke formed a string quartet and were featured in a public recital as part of the festival.

They joined musicians from Sao Paulo, Riberiao Preto, Florianopolis and Udeci Universities, and the ALMA school in Brazil to form an orchestra with Italian students to premiere new works written specifically for the festival. This was the first time in its nine-year history that the festival invited North American students to perform.

During an intensive rehearsal period, these four students and their professor Dr. Harvey Thurmer, worked with conductors from both Brazil and Italy. This total immersion into language and cultures of Italy and Brazil was unlike any other experience the students have had—from their first homemade pasta at the home of Italian pianist Martina Drudi, to making new friends from both countries as they made music.

The students were featured on a recital with Dr. Thurmer and Martina Drudi on Thursday February 6 , performing Dvorak's "American" String Quartet opus 96 in F major.