11-Year-Old Local Violin Prodigy To Perform in June Concerts
– by Lee Greene
Rogue Valley classical music fans are most fortunate to enjoy exemplary musicians of a superior quality far beyond what one would expect to find in a rural, remote area off the beaten track, year round, including the world class Britt Classical Orchestra in the summer, and the Maestro Martin Majkut led Rogue Valley Symphony, both in its traditional fall-winter-spring concert series and in its new summer series. Fans of good instrumental music in Southern Oregon also are able to enjoy performances by the Rogue Valley Symphonic Band, the Ashland City Band, various Southern Oregon University ensembles, and several other excellent quality musical organizations. Well informed local music aficionados may even be aware that the region is a fertile ground for developing promising young musicians, and be attuned to the activities of the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon, or the Link Up school-based education program through which the Rogue Valley Symphony in partnership with Carnegie Hall is offering year round music skills education in the Phoenix/Talent school district culminating in an interactive concert by the students with the Symphony. But even the most knowledgeable Rogue Valley music fans are not likely to be fully aware of the depth of the pool of skilled musicians in this area, and particularly, the precocious young musical prodigies among us.
Did you know that one of the most talented, young violin prodigies today comes from and resides in the Rogue Valley? Dellara Sheibani, only 11-years-old, born in Medford and currently living in Ashland, was an American Protégé International Competition Recital award winner at Carnegie Hall in New York City, on May 3, 2015, where she performed Kabalevsky’s Violin Concerto in C Major. The precocious Sheibani began playing the violin at age 5. At age 7, she joined the entry level Youth Strings division of the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon, and under the tutelage of preeminent string teacher Faina Podolnaya, rapidly advanced up the ranks to the first violin chair of the Youth Symphony’s intermediate Orchestra division at age 9, and the upper Symphony division at age 10. She is also a core member of the award winning Podolnaya led string ensemble, Siskiyou Violins, with which she has performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Britt Festivals, and at the Los Angeles International Music Festival in the Walt Disney Concert Hall last summer, where their performance earned the Gold Award.
Dellara Sheibani Plays Kabalevsky Violin Concerto
This is a video recording of 11 year old Dellara Sheibani performing Kabalevsky’s Violin Concerto in C Major during a rehearsal session at her instructor’s (Faina Podolnaya) Ashland studio, prior to her Carnegie Hall recital.
This summer Sheibani will be continuing her accelerated music education and sharpening her skills at Berkeley, CA’s prestigious Crowden School of Music’s Chamber Music Workshop – a competitive summer music program for young musicians ages 13-22. Yes, you read that correctly, the minimum age requirement is supposed to be 13, but after reviewing Dellara’s audition materials, the school waived the minimum age requirement and admitted her based on the level of her skills. She is believed to be the youngest player ever accepted into the prestigious program.
Before leaving for Berkeley and her summer studies, Sheibani will be performing twice in concerts with the Siskiyou Violins in the Rogue Valley. On June 7, they will be performing at 3 pm at Grace Lutheran Church in Ashland and on June 11 at 6:45 pm at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Green Show in Ashland. The repertoire which the ensemble will perform at the two concerts include Bach’s Little Fugue and Ave Maria, Schubert’s Serenade, Bizet’s Je Crois, Vivaldi’s Concerto, Shostakovich’s Gavotte, Scott Joplin’s Paragon Rag, John William’s Schindler’s List, and an original piece by local composer, Mark Jacobs, Luna Negra. The Siskiyou Violins will also be performing later in the summer at the Britt Festivals Performance Garden on the second night of the Britt Classical Festival, Aug. 1.
Siskiyou Violins is regarded by those in the know as one of the top youth string ensembles in the United States today. In addition to earning the top prize Gold Award at the Los Angeles International Music Festival in 2014, they have twice more won top honors in the last decade in prestigious competitions at NYC’s Carnegie Hall. In 2012, they won the top award at Carnegie Hall with scores from the three judges of 97, 99, and 100, out of 100. Those scores are the highest ever recorded in many years of festivals in the U.S. and abroad. One of the judges (Dr. Lawrence Sutherland) at Carnegie Hall in 2012 wrote: “It’s absolute MAGIC! . . . Having been in music for virtually all my life as a player, teacher, adjudicator and conductor, I have heard thousands of performances by ensembles of all types. . . . The Siskiyou Violins is one of those groups whose virtuosity and musicianship rank them as one of the astounding ensembles in my memory.”
If you are a fan of classical music, you will surely hear of and probably see violinist Dellara Sheibani again. One could probably do well to bet on her joining an adult symphony orchestra (Rogue Valley Symphony?) by the age of 15 or 16, and it’s not beyond reach for her to go on from there to one of the major symphony orchestras if she continues to progress at the rate she has been. If you ARE such a classical music devotee, then don’t miss a chance to see her early in her promising career, along with the award winning Siskiyou Violins at one of their performances in the Rogue Valley this month.
This article was originally published by the Jacksonville Review on June 6, 2015 at http://jacksonvillereview.com/11-year-old-local-violin-prodigy-to-perform-in-june-concerts-by-lee-greene/