Twenty-five young musicians from around the world have come to California to train and perform this month. They will take part in an international program called iPalpiti. The name comes from the Italian word for heartbeats.
Eduard Schmieder is the program’s conductor and musical director. Schmieder and his wife started the program in 1997 with help from violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin.
This year, the musicians come from 19 countries, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Israel and Italy. Schmieder notes some of the musicians are from countries that are at war with each other.
"And they are sitting next to each other, and they become friends."
He says through their music and friendship, they are making the world more peaceful.
The musicians taking part in the program range in age from their late teens to their 30s. Schmieder said they include winners of major music competitions.
Peter Rainer is a violin player from Germany. He serves as concertmaster, the link between the musicians and conductor.
"It’s so great that you have so many sensitive musicians. And they all are very alert and awake and listen to each other and it’s a lot of fun."
Turkish viola player Can Sakul says the international group works well together.
The experience is a cultural as well as a musical exchange, said Russian violinist Semyon Promoe.
"Everyone has own opinion of music, how to play every composition. And very interesting to interact with everybody, to play together and to create one opinion for everybody."
This year, the festival focuses on music from the 1600s to the 1900s. But cello player Francisco Vila of Ecuador said the music has no geographic boundaries.
Vila added that the musicians get to know more about each other as they perform great music.
"It’s interesting to see where we intersect, how many things we have in common. And also the music world...is quite small, so you’re only one person away from knowing everyone else."
Can Sakul said the musicians who have taken part in the training and festival make up "a big family." He added that he is "proud to be a part of it."
I’m Jonathan Evans.