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Cyrus Beroukhim & Marcantonio Barone

Cyrus Beroukhim & Marcantonio Barone

Violinist Cyrus Beroukhim will offer a joint recital with Swarthmore Associate in Performance Marcantonio Barone on Saturday, April 6, in Lang Concert Hall. They will perform four challenging compositions. Beroukhim has served as the principal second violin and principal viola of the New York City Ballet Orchestra and concertmaster of the American Symphony Orchestra. He works in a wide range of styles, and often premieres Iranian compositions. Barone made his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 10, and later performed with many other groups including Orchestra 2001, and the Saint Louis, Houston, and Moscow Symphony Orchestras. Before the recital, Beroukhim will work with three student violinists in a masterclass, open to audience observation.

"Cyrus and I have played together in the Lenape Chamber Ensemble for more than twenty years, and I always enjoy our collaborations.  He's a delight to work with,” says Barone. When the Music Department asked Barone to invite a guest artist to campus to perform with him, he couldn’t help but think of Beroukhim. 

“I find in Cyrus Beroukhim’s playing qualities that are rare in today's musical environment. He certainly has the ability to play modern music brilliantly . . . yet he also has a profound understanding of what makes music of the Romantic era express everything that it can and should,” Barone said. “He has a way of playing a seamless legato from note to note in a melody and he uses his vibrato with such perfect expressivity for every moment in each piece, tailoring the sound to the expressive needs of the music in a way that you don't hear very often today.”

During their recital, they will perform Stravinsky’s Duo Concertant, Brahms’s Sonata in A Major, Clara Schumann’s Three Romances, and Respighi’s Sonata in B minor. These pieces are difficult for both the pianist and violinist; however, Barone and Beroukhim are looking forward to the challenge.  

Beroukhim teaches at New York University where he focuses on helping students solve technical problems in their playing. Barone takes a similar approach to teaching. “I'm a great believer in learning the fundamentals of music, and of instrumental technique, really carefully. I don't believe in saying to a student, ‘Play this very hard piece,’ without having first helped the student to build the technical foundation that makes it possible to play the music well,” Barone said. “I would say that defines my approach. I want my students to have a solid foundation and then use it wisely to play whatever music they're interested in.”

Barone is excited to observe Beroukhim’s teaching during the masterclass, and believes his focus on challenging technical skills will fit in well with the Music Department. Since he was first invited to give piano lessons at the College in 1992, Barone has seen faces change but the pedagogical approach has remained constant. 

“I think the ethos of the Department remains a very beautiful one. It's a department that allows students to be themselves and explore their own particular musical interests, while it still teaches them the fundamentals that they need,” Barone said. 

Emma Gabriel ’25 will perform Amy Beach’s Romance at the masterclass. She is looking forward to working with Beroukhim. “It is always great to get feedback from new teachers. They can provide a new perspective on how to improve your playing,” Gabriel said. 

Beroukhim will teach his masterclass – open to an audience – at 4 pm and perform with Barone at 8 pm on April 6 in Lang Concert Hall.