I spent a couple of days last week with Rob Kapilow and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Rob is amazing. I've spent time with him each time he's been in the Bay Area during the last few years, and after each presentation I hear at least a few people say things like, "this is the first time I feel like I've HEARD classical music" and "I learned more about music today than I had in the last 20 years of my life."
During Rob's visit, Adam Tow and I lugged video and still cameras to collect raw footage of a presentation to Stanford's School of Education (featuring Shostakovich's 8th String Quartet) and a presentation at the East Side College Preparatory School in East Palo Alto (featuring Schumann's Death and the Maiden Quartet). The kids at East Side were really bright and engaging, and seemed to have no inhibitions whatsoever. Whereas a big-brained frosh at Stanford might strut his stuff and ask a stupid/non-sensical question like, "I was wondering why you decided to tune a bit sharp tonight?", the East Side kids asked questions that showed genuine curiosity. Rob and the SLSQ are planning on doing some sort of collaboration with the kids there, which should turn out to be very interesting. [see some photos]