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Sights and Sounds Concert Series: Chamber Music Raleigh Presents Harlem Quartet


Harlem Quartet
Ilmar Gavilán, violin
Melissa White, violin
Jaime Amador, viola
Felix Umansky, cello

Mozart, String Quartet in C Major, K. 465, “Dissonance”
Guido López-Gavilán, Cuarteto en Guaguanco
Wynton Marsalis, At the Octoroon Balls
Billy Strayhorn (arr. Paul Chihara and Harlem Quartet), “Take the ‘A’ Train”

About the Artists:
New York–based Harlem Quartet, currently quartet-in-residence at London’s Royal College of Music, has been praised for its “panache” by the New York Times and hailed in the Cincinnati Enquirer for “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent.” It has won plaudits from such veteran musicians as Grammy-winning woodwind virtuoso Ted Nash of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, who declared in 2018, “Harlem Quartet is one of the greatest string quartets I have ever heard. They can play anything.” Since its public debut at Carnegie Hall in 2006, the ensemble has thrilled audiences and students in 47 states as well as in the UK, France, Belgium, Brazil, Panama, Canada, Venezuela, Japan, Ethiopia, and South Africa.

Harlem Quartet has three distinctive characteristics: diverse programming that combines music from the standard string quartet canon with jazz, Latin, and contemporary works; a collaborative approach to performance that is continually broadening the ensemble’s repertoire and audience reach through artistic partnerships with other musicians from the classical and jazz worlds; and an ongoing commitment to residency activity and other forms of educational outreach. The quartet’s mission is to advance diversity in classical music, engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire that includes works by composers of color. Passion for this work has made the quartet a leading ensemble in both educational and community-engagement activities.

Image courtesy of Chamber Museum Raleigh