The Last Sunday Afternoon Of Music In Miami
After 33 years, Miami's classical music series Sunday Afternoons of Music has seen its final afternoon.
The event was founded by husband and wife Byron Krulewitch and Doreen Marx. They brought artists from all around the world to South Florida. Each season had seven shows for children and seven shows for adults.
Marx and Krulewitch wanted to bring classical music to a festival at Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest. What came out of that small initiative turned into Sunday Afternoons of Music -- 33 years of shows for adults, and 28 years of performances for children.
"Nobody is more amazed than both Byron and I that it has worked out the way it has," says Marx.
Her husband Krulewitch agrees: "We had no idea where it was gonna go, and it's been a tremendous journey for the two of us."
They hosted the event at Temple Beth Am for the first 21 years. The following 12 was at the Gusman Concert Hall at the University of Miami.
"As concerned grandparents, we started Sunday Afternoons of Music For Children to introduce them to the wonderful world of music, song and dance," says Krulewitch.
The couple have 10 grandchildren all together. They agree that there is nothing like their yearly concert series for kids in South Florida.
"That's why we've kept our prices reasonably low," says Marx. "I wanted to make it affordable to people. In particular for children, parents and families. I didn't want to gouge them."
Marx and Krulewitch took on the bulk of the work leading up to the concerts for adults and children. The couple booked musicians and artists, got them to town, set up show programs and wrote grants, just to name a few tasks.
But on the day of every concert, they have volunteers to help them set up.
"The help we've had are the same people that have been with us many years, " says Marx.
Priscilla Rivera started handing out flyers for Sunday afternoons 29 years ago. Her 2-year-old son would attend the concerts for children. She says South Florida had nothing for kids in classical music back then.
"It was such a joy to have someone recognize that and fill that void," says Rivera.
Omari Hardy, a 2012 UM grad, is on his sixth year attending Sunday afternoon events. He says there is still nothing like this in South Florida for children and adults.
"We're not necessarily a Mecca for the arts," says Hardy. "But what Doreen and Byron have done over the last 33 years has really been fantastic for Miami."
So why did Marx and Krulewitch put an end to Sunday Afternoons of Music?
"I'm going to be 90 next November. Doreen will be 88 on Christmas Day. It's time to pass the baton to the next generation," says Krulewitch.
"I didn't have to convince him and he didn't have to convince me," says Marx. "We both realized it's time."
They wanted the event to end the same way it started -- with them. But Marx and Krulewitch hope someone will launch a new concert series for adults and children after them.
The couple will miss the music, the artists and Krulewitch adds, "the friends we made through music."
Up and coming mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard was accompanied by Vlad Iftinca on the piano for the last Sunday Afternoon of Music on May 18.
In the Gusman Concert Hall, Doreen Marx and Byron Krulewitch sat front row for the performance.
"We're both hoping that we will have many years together," says Marx. "That we can sit and hold hands together and just enjoy whatever life has to bring."