Rose Quartet: A Story of World Harmony

The BFI Suzuki Program

By Storyteller Malaika Butoyi

January 18th, 2021

Piano played by Julie Marner, BFI Executive Director

In a world where the launch of Playstation 5 gets more media attention than ten humanitarian crises combined (, the art of storytelling becomes paramount. Let me tell you a story about globalism, humanism, and music.

Iliokuya — Once upon a time, children from San Diego, California and Burundi, East Africa learn and play Rose Quartet, a beautiful piece of music composed by Catherine McMichael. Under the Musical Direction of Susanna Han, students of Suzuki Heritage Center in San Diego play alongside (split-screen) those of Burundi Friends International Strings.

Moving to hear and watch, the project highlights our shared humanity. We glimpse world harmony in the faces of talented youth. We revel in developing their gifts.

On this day, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who had a dream that one day all children would have the same opportunities — regardless of skin color. On this day, sharing this story seems absolutely apropos. Thank you, Visionaries and Builders of the New World. Continue the growth with us here:

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