Pacific Palisades residents Avery and Alexzandra Morris will host a special outdoor concert, the third in their Edgar Street Concert Series, featuring the Mendelssohn Octet at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 27, on the corner of Edgar and Ida Streets.
In addition to the Morris twins, who are world-class musicians, the concert will feature musicians from the L.A. Chamber Orchestra. Residents are invited to attend the free concert (donations invited) and are asked to bring their own chairs.
“We will be performing the entire Mendelssohn Octet, which is a brilliant and exciting work, perfect for the start of the summer!” Avery (violinist) told Circling the News. Her sister plays the viola.
During the Covid shutdown, the twins began to host lawn concerts outside their home in the Marquez neighborhood. The concerts became popular with neighbors, who appreciated the beautiful music that prior to the pandemic, they had to travel to concert halls to hear live.
The sisters began playing violin at age seven, first Avery, then a week later Alexzandra, who had unsuccessfully tried the flute first. The twins attended Marquez Elementary and Paul Revere Middle School.
The two won first place in the annual Palisades Symphony youth competition in 2013 and performed Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (first movement) for violin, viola and orchestra with the Palisades Symphony in Mercer Hall.
They attended Crossroads High School and worked to make classical music accessible to all.
“Classical music is so exclusive in a lot of ways,” Alexzandra said. “We’re trying to make it playful and kind of interesting to the general public.”
After graduating from Crossroads, the girls attended the Bard Conservatory. While there, they and two fellow students won a grant for “Sounds of Social Justice,” which allowed them to teach and collaborate with young musicians living in poverty in Cali, Columbia. In addition to teaching youth how to play musical instruments, the four worked closely with Orquesta Sinfonica Infantil y Juvenil de Silor and the Fundacion Sidoc to provide students with access to world-class recordings by the best musicians.
The twins graduated from Bard in 2018.
“Since then, we have both gone on to have professional careers as classical violinists/violists,” Avery said. “We have pursued graduate work and have performed in tours across Europe, Russia, Cuba, Columbia and Canada.”
As the nation reopens after Covid-19, Avery has plans to return to New York to continue pursuing her doctorate in violin performance at Stony Brook University. Alexzandra will continue her work at a UCLA cancer research lab, while teaching violin/viola and performing with local ensembles.
The twins are the daughters of Patricia, a professor at Otis College of Art and Design, and Jeff, head of Facility Brand, a branding and design consultancy.