Big things lie ahead for pianist Holmefjord-Sarabi, cellist Feldman, both 17

  • News/--Cellist Jamie Feldman of Sebastopol is heading to a major conservatory and is pursuing a career in music.
    (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)2009

The success of a classical musician requires more than just raw talent. It takes hours of practice and ear training, plus the perseverance and guts of a long-distance runner.

It?s a gantlet fraught with peril. But if you?re one of the lucky few who make it through, you will be inspired and nourished by music for the rest of your life.

?Fame and success are always being dangled before you,? cellist Yo-Yo Ma once warned. ?You can easily become a slave to your desire, become an addict. But you have to choose your drug carefully."

Cellist Jaime Feldman, 17, of Sebastopol has already auditioned and been accepted into several music conservatories across the country: Oberlin College, the Cleveland Conservatory of Music and the Peabody Institute. She has also earned wait-list status at the New England Conservatory, her top choice. It?s all in a day?s work for the well-rounded cellist.

?I?m not one of those people who practice nine hours a day and has no life,? Feldman said. ?You really have to know how to practice. ... That?s what matters.?

Pianist Lawrence Holmefjord-Sarabi, 17, of Healdsburg also has lofty ambitions. He plans to apply this fall to many of the major conservatories in the United States and beyond.

?There?s a fantastic conservatory in Oslo, Norway,? he said. ?I would go to the ends of the earth to study there, because that?s where Leif Ove Andsnes, the great Norwegian pianist, studied.?

Born in Hawaii to parents from Norway and Iran, Holmefjord-Sarabi is already a citizen of the world. Although Feldman is widely considered a world-class talent, she emanates a sweet, girl-next-door charm.

These two unusual teens will join forces at 7 p.m. Saturday April 25 in a chamber music concert at the Sonoma Country Day School?s Jackson Theater.

During the benefit for the Russian River Chamber Music Society, the rising stars will perform a program of Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin and Liszt with more experienced players from the Glendeven String Quartet.

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