May 4, 2015 By Michael Florio
A world-renown violinist is visiting an Astoria school this week with the goal of exposing children to classical music.
Alexander Markov, a Russian-American violinist, will be visiting the Frank Sinatra School of Arts, located at 35-12 35th Ave. Wednesday, in an attempt to inspire the next generation to have a passion for classical music.
Markov, who will be performing at Carnegie Hall next month, will play in front of 130 students in the school’s orchestra room.
Markov will perform a number of pieces with his traditional violin and will then play his gold-plated, six-string electric violin, which he plays rock and roll on, for the kids. After his performance, the children will be able to ask him questions.
“I want to inspire them,” Markov said. “Once the students get engaged with the music they will want to go out and see more shows.”
He said the kids have a lot of fun and even ask him for autographs and to take selfies with him.
“Once they see the electric violin it becomes like a big party,” he added. “I leave like a rock star.”
Markov said he always visits a school before he plays a big concert of his own, in the hope of that some of the students will attend. In total, he said, he has visited close to 100 schools around the country.
“It is good to get some young blood in to Carnegie Hall,” he said. “If you go [to the concerts], the audience is always filled with gray haired people.”
He picked Frank Sinatra School of Arts as a place to visit since former students have attended his performances, and he is hoping that the current students will attend his next concert. He said he has also developed a friendship with the school’s music director.
Last, he said, it is not uncommon for artists to visit the school, as Lady Gaga and Paul McCartney have done in the past.
“It is a beautiful school,” he said.
Markov will be performing at Carnegie Hall on June 5th, with tickets priced between $25 and $120.
His conductor will be Matthew Savery, who is making his Carnegie Hall debut. He has performed there on numerous occasions including a sold out performance last year.
Markov made his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 16.