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David Strom, former student and now colleague ...
Friends, Many of you, like me, have been profoundly impacted by a great teacher. I have been fortunate to have many, but the single greatest influence in my life is my teacher Prof. Eric Lewis.
Mr. Lewis was the 1st violinist of the Manhattan String Quartet for 45+ years (1965 – 2013). They were the first American Quartet in modern times to travel to the USSR, recording all 15 Shostakovich quartets as official U.S. cultural ambassadors, and to perform them all in one day marathons (which I attended as a kid!) Their recordings of these performances, are in my opinion - definitive.
Prof. Lewis forever changed the way I looked at music and the world. He taught me that an artist needs to be a Renaissance person - to explore the interaction of philosophy, science, poetry, politics, and art. I was inculcated with a profound sense of the ability of music to change the world.
Additionally, Mr. Lewis took an active interest in me as a whole person. He wanted to know about my school life, home life, etc. We spent many, many hours beyond my lesson talking about everything from Schopenhauer, Nietzche, and Wagner to strategies for handling bullies at school. Despite his enormously busy schedule, Prof. Lewis attended every play I was ever in.
Now retired from the MSQ, Mr. Lewis has been hard at work the past five years composing a Requiem Lullaby for all of the children in history who have died as a result of war, violence, and neglect. It is now nearing production stage, which will culminate in a performance at the United Nations to benefit UNICEF.
Whether or not you have met Prof. Lewis, if you are a current or former student he has been your teacher as well. For my non-musician friends, if you know me- you know him. I feel his presence in every lesson I teach, and aspire to make a fraction of the difference in the world that he has made in my life.
DAVID STROM studied with Prof. Lewis and Katherine Dorn Lewis for several years during his formative years of violin development. He attended Hartt School of Music for a Bachelor Degree in Violin Performance. To complete his teacher training he entered the Suzuki Program at Maryland University studying with violin Suzuki master Rhoda Cole. His students, always at the top of their class, populate professional orchestras; first class chamber music ensembles; and teaching positions at all levels of student proficiencies in the US and Europe.