Harlem Quartet, praised for its "panache" by The New York Times, is "bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent," says theCincinnati Enquirer. 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 minority composers. The 2015-16 concert season marks the debut of Felix Umansky formerly of the Linden String Quartet, as Harlem Quartet's cellist.
Cuban piano prodigy Aldo López-Gavilán, hailed by the London Times as a "formidable virtuoso [who] assures a performance of amazing playing and individuality," comes to the United States in fall 2016 to tour with the Harlem Quartet. López-Gavilán is known for his mastery of both classical piano repertoire and the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition. His performances with the Harlem Quartet offer dynamic blends of classical repertoire, jazz standards, and López-Gavilán's own compositions - many of which he arranged specifically for this collaboration. López-Gavilán was born in Cuba to a family of internationally acclaimed classical musicians. His older brother Ilmar is a violinist and a founding member of the Harlem Quartet.
Since its public debut in 2006 at Carnegie Hall, the New York-based ensemble has performed throughout the U.S. as well as in France, the U.K., Belgium, Brazil, Panama, Canada, Venezuela, and South Africa, where under the auspices of the U.S. State Department in May 2012 they spent two weeks performing concerts and engaging in outreach activities. In 2013 they completed their third and final year in the Professional String Quartet Training Program at New England Conservatory and participated in NEC’s string quartet exchange program in Paris, working with violinist Günter Pichler in a masterclass setting.
In addition to performing on chamber-music series around the country, they have collaborated with such distinguished performers as violinist Itzhak Perlman; cellist Carter Brey; clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera; pianist Misha Dichter, with whom the quartet made their Kennedy Center debut in February 2013; and jazz legends Chick Corea and Gary Burton, whom they joined for their six-month "Hot House" tour that began at Tanglewood in summer 2012. Later that year the quartet made their performance debut with another jazz virtuoso, the British saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer Tim Garland.
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