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How Peace Spreads

by Abby Zimet

Celebrating the common language of music, the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin has now been carefully passed down to this year's recipient - along with the viola, cello and second violin that make up the Daniel Pearl Quartet - as instruments of peace. Named and crafted in honor of the Wall Street Journal reporter and devoted amateur violinist killed in Pakistan, the instruments are the work of Maine-based luthier and fiddler Jonathan Cooper who, after Pearl's murder in 2002, saw them and the power of music as "a way to help counteract all that darkness....a chance to, perhaps, push back against a world I felt was very chaotic and destructive and wrong." At first, Cooper envisioned making one violin to give to Pearl's son Adam, so that the son could remember the father who reportedly always brought and played his violin on his travels. But in conjunction with the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which organizes fellowships and concerts around the globe, the "small idea" grew. Now each year four instruments pass, hand to hand, to four young musicians chosen at a renowned strings camp. The kids are chosen for their musical skill as well as their ability to share a message of tolerance as they work, play, travel and once more pass along their instrument. From Sarah Hubbard, 19, this year's recipient, "This is how peace spreads, I guess."

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