Vail Series Presents Acclaimed Young Musicians
Date of Event: October 10, 2008
Posted: September 25, 2008 / Last Updated: September 29, 2008
Imagine a classical chamber orchestra — not a typical one, but one comprised entirely of young, award-winning, black and Latino musicians. Denison University’s Vail Series will bring just such a group, the acclaimed Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, to the Swasey Chapel stage at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10. Performing with them will be the Harlem Quartet. Call 740-587-6557 for ticket information.
The Sphinx Chamber Orchestra is an ensemble of the top alumni of the national Sphinx Competition, which features talented, young, black and Latino string players from around the country competing for prizes, scholarships and orchestral engagements.
The Sphinx Chamber Orchestra earned rave reviews from The New York Times in December 2004 for its debut at Carnegie Hall. They returned to Carnegie Hall in 2006 and 2007 to sold-out audiences. The Harlem Quartet, comprised of four First-Place Laureates of the Sphinx Competition, made its Carnegie Hall debut in the fall of 2006.
Members of the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra have completed or continue to pursue their studies at the nation’s top music schools, including Juilliard, Curtis, Eastman, Peabody, and Harvard. Several members hold professional orchestral positions, and others have appeared as soloists with major orchestras.
Members of the Harlem Quartet are: Ilmar Gavilan, violin; Melissa White, violin; Juan-Miguel Hernandez, viola; and Desmond Neysmith, cello. In addition to being avid chamber musicians, each member of the quartet is a seasoned solo artist. As a quartet, they have been featured on WNBC, CNN and The Today Show. In December of this year they will perform at the Library of Congress, where they will be playing the Stradivari instruments in the Library’s collection in collaboration with New York Philharmonic Principal Cellist Carter Brey. It will be the quartet’s Washington debut.
On the program for the Vail concert are: Mozart’s “Divertimento in D Major;” Piazzolia’s “Winter in Buenos Aires” for solo violin and orchestra; Villa Lobos’ Fugue from the “Bacchianas Brasileiras;” Walker’s “Lyric for Strings;” Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Four Violins and Orchestra in B Minor;” and Michael Abels’ “Delights and Dances” for string quartet and orchestra. In addition to playing with the orchestra, the Harlem Quartet will play Wynton Marsalis’ “Hellbound Highball.”
The Sphinx Organization was founded by 2005 MacArthur Fellow Aaron P. Dworkin. The organization has spent 11 years envisioning a world in which classical music reflects cultural diversity and plays a role in the everyday lives of youth. To accomplish that, the nonprofit group provides beginning violin lessons and instruments for black and Latino youth in Detroit and Flint, Mich., a music curriculum and interactive CD-ROM that helps teachers incorporate classical music education into their classroom, an intensive summer training academy, and professional opportunities for young artists.
The Sphinx program has reached more than 65,000 students in 175 schools nationwide. Instruments worth more than $190,000 have been provided to young minority musicians, and more than $1,620,000in scholarships are administered to Sphinx Competition semi-finalists. Top competition performers have appeared more than 190 times with the Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland and St. Louis symphonies, reaching more than 180,000 audience members.
For further information about this year’s Vail Series schedule, including upcoming performances by the Brooklyn Rider Quartet (March 28) and soprano Renée Fleming (April 14), visit the Vail Web site at http://vailseries.org/
- DU -
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville — The Vail Series presents the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra and Harlem Quartet at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10, in Swasey Chapel (200 Chapel Drive). Call 740-587-6557 for ticket information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
For press inquiries:
- Barbara Stambaugh
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- (740) 587-8575