“Natural, intuitive and elevated by diligence and a strong sense of her own unique sound,” said violin teacher Anthony Berner when describing violinist Meriel Bizri ‘20.
Bizri has known music for almost her entire life. She picked up her first violin at the age of three at the suggestion of her parents, but her passion for music truly blossomed when she was introduced to chamber music at Greenwood Music Camp ten years later. There, she discovered her enjoyment of experiencing and feeling music with others.
“When I was twelve or thirteen, I focused so much on the perfecting side of music,” said Bizri. “But, when I went to Greenwood, I learned to just share things with people regardless of judgement or technical perfection. It made music a lot more fun for me.”
After this initial introduction, chamber music grew to play a significant role in Bizri’s love for music. Playing in small groups of musicians, Bizri is able to connect to others, further inspiring her in her journey as a musician.
“Music is about connection and emotion, and I can really create a community around chamber music,” said Bizri.
From these experiences, Bizri gradually struck a balance between the musical and technical aspects, a process that fueled her interest in the violin.
“I grew to love this battle of mastering all the technicalities. Music is a craft: it’s not only to express myself. There’s a certain amount of thought in terms of perfecting it,” said Bizri.
In her junior year, Bizri came to Deerfield Academy to immerse herself in a community of dedicated classical musicians, an environment which her previous school did not have.
She dedicates herself to her art, spending about five hours a day practicing violin on top of other school work. She has contributed immensely to Deerfield’s music program, especially the chamber and orchestra programs.
“It’s been pretty rare over the years to have a student who plays at such a high level and also really values their musical collaborations with colleagues of many different instrumental abilities,” said Mr. Berner.
In addition to being an active participant within Deerfield’s music program, Bizri has also participated in two concerto competitions, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition and the Boston Symphony Concerto Competition, winning first place in both. As a result, Bizri performed as a soloist with an orchestra for the first time in her career and received the opportunity to perform in Boston Symphony Hall, which she deems one of her greatest achievements.
“It was a really unique experience, especially with all the older musicians in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I felt like I was floating on top of the music,” described Bizri.
Whereas Bizri only rehearsed once with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she worked closely with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra over a month-long period. In this process, Bizri talked with the conductor and was able to delve deeper into the orchestral part by furthering her means of musical expression.
Overall, her experience competing and performing as a soloist convinced her that music is something she wants to pursue after Deerfield.
“Although it was really stressful to prepare for, the reward from playing and the realization that I can share music, combined with the fact that I can even have these opportunities, confirmed that I want to play music in the future,” said Bizri. “Having the ability to express and connect with such an audience became something I really enjoyed.”
Bizri is currently working on her audition tapes for music school, sporting an impressive repertoire of about six pieces.
In the future, she hopes to pursue her interest in music through playing chamber music, holding solo recitals, finding more opportunities to perform with an orchestra, and perhaps one day teaching music to students.
“I have this vision in my head that I want to share with other people” Bizri responded to what she hopes for herself in the future. “Ultimately,- I want to know that I’ve been able to take that vision, and make it a reality.”