With his Mount Vernon Virtuosi collective of musicians, cellist Amit Peled aims to create “musical citizens”

Posted on: December 7, 2021

Amid Peled’s Mount Vernon Virtuosi ensemble performs free concerts in Baltimore communities.

“Cellist Amit Peled … remains fiercely committed to the idea of music as a public right, as something that belongs to everyone,” writes Elizabeth Nonemaker in Friday’s (12/3) Baltimore Sun. “His latest project, dubbed the Mount Vernon Virtuosi, is perhaps the clearest expression of this value. Launched in 2018, the Virtuosi are a collective of young professional string players—primarily recent graduates from Maryland-area music schools. Headed by Peled, who’s taught cello at the Peabody Institute since 2003, they perform four programs around the state per concert season…. All their concerts are free…. The musicians receive competitive pay.… The Virtuosi are primarily funded through gifts from private donors…. Peled wants the Virtuosi to grow into a permanent post-graduate residency, physically installed in Baltimore and immersed in its communities…. ‘I don’t want to force musicians to live here forever,’ Peled clarified. What he does want is ‘to create better musical citizens. So that … they will use classical music to engage with the community they live in.’ … Peled recalled performing a Halloween program in the lobby of the Enoch Pratt library … ‘There was noise, there was an alarm. I didn’t even hear it, we were so engaged in that concert.’ ”