Director of the Peraza Music Workshop and Violin Teacher
Marion Peraza de Webb was born into a family of teachers in the small Venezuelan university town of Barquisimeto. Not only her parents, but most of her aunts and uncles on both sides were teachers or university professors. Music was also a family-wide endeavor. Her brother, Javier, a cellist, is a founding member of El Sistema, a publicly financed, voluntary sector music education program in Venezuela, originally called Social Action for Music. And Julietta, her sister is a performing violinist and conductor of the youth orchestra in their hometown. Incidentally, the present conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, was one of Julietta’s pupils!
As with her older siblings, it was a given that Marion would play an instrument. Marion attributes much of her love of music to the environment in which she was reared. The Bach Suites were a constant accompaniment to daily life. Growing up in El Sistema exposed her to the compositions of Beethoven and Mozart and Wagner, making their music, and the music of many others, an important part of who she was even as a child.
When she was selected to be part of the Latin American Violin Academy, she made the weekly six hour bus ride to her lessons with her father, an experience she remembers with fondness as having provided precious parent-child bonding time. While not trained specifically in the Suzuki Method as a child, her father’s involvement with her musical training left a profound impression upon Marion. Luckily, most people do not need to travel twelve hours round trip to take a violin lesson, but the Suzuki method does attempt to emulate the kind of parental engagement Marion came to understand so intimately through this experience.
As a member of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra (Caracas), Marion toured Japan, USA, Mexico, Brazil, France and Spain, and participated in seven CD recordings for the Dorian Records label. She has also played solo works with all of the major Venezuelan orchestras, as well as with orchestras in the US and Canada. As the first violin of the Cuarteto de Cuerdas America, Marion played numerous performances in festivals and concert series in Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Canada, Luxembourg, Germany and the United States, among other places. In 1998, Marion won the Miami University Concerto Competition and was awarded the Battel Stoeckel Trust Award at Yale University. Two years later, she won the Grand Prize and Honor Award in the Annual Competition of Spanish and Latin American Music at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and a year later was also recognized as the Ohio Latino Arts Association’s Performing Artist of the Year Award 2001.
She performs regularly with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra in Detroit. She works with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra coaching their high school chamber music group: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Noveau Chamber Players.
Marion feels passionately about music, and it is that passion that she hopes to pass on to her students. The way children think, how they interact with music and build confidence and mature through performance, are elements Marion focuses on as a teacher of primarily young children. She considers the Suzuki Method the best approach for teaching young children to play the violin. Suzuki’s philosophy is methodical musically, but also relates to the child as a unique learning individual.
Her principal teachers include Jose Francisco Del Castillo (Simón Bolívar Conservatory), Margaret Pardee (Juilliard School), the Tokyo Quartet, and the Vermeer Quartet.
Marion is married to Garin Webb, a jazz musician; together they have two boys, Ari, the cellist, and Eli, who at the age of 3 is still deciding which instrument to play.