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Harlem Quartet Performs at ODU for Diehn Concert Series, Monday, Nov. 3

Old Dominion University's F. Ludwig Diehn Concert Series continues Monday, Nov. 3, with the Harlem Quartet, an ensemble whose mission is to engage young and new audiences and to advance diversity in classical music. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in Chandler Recital Hall of the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center.


The members of this innovative and daring all-black and Latino string quartet serve as principal faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy at Walnut Hill School in Massachusetts, and all are first-place laureates of the Sphinx Competition. The ensemble released its debut CD, "The Harlem Quartet," in 2007.


Highlights of the group's 2008-09 season include a collaboration with New York Philharmonic principal cellist Carter Brey on Schubert's String Quintet, in addition to concert performances at the Library of Congress, the Lied Center of Kansas, Ravinia's Rising Stars Series and Interlochen, among others. In fall 2008 the quartet also featured artists on the inaugural Sphinx National Tour, which included an appearance with renowned cellist Paul Katz at the Sphinx Gala Concert in Carnegie Hall. In the past 18 months, the Harlem Quartet was also featured on WNBC, CNN, and the "Today" show.


Tickets, $10 for students and $15 general admission, are available by calling the Arts and Letters box office at 683-5305.   

Harlem Quartet Members  

Ilmar Gavilán, violin - A native of Havana, Cuba, Gavilán began his studies at the Havana Conservatory of music and at the age of 14 was selected for advanced studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. Later studies took him to the Reina Sofia School of Music in Spain, and the Manhattan School of Music in New York. Currently he is the concertmaster of the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and teaches at the Juilliard School.


Melissa White, violin - A recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, White has appeared as a soloist with many of the nation's leading orchestras and is also an active chamber musician. At the age of 14, she made her debut with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and internationally acclaimed conductor Paul Freeman. Her CD recording of "An American Concerto" by Gwenyth Walker on Albany Records is now in record stores worldwide.


Juan-Miguel Hernández, viola - Born in Canada in 1985, Hernández began to study violin at the age of 7 and changed to viola at age 12. Currently studying at the Colburn Conservatory, he has participated in many prestigious music festivals in Canada and the United States, and performed as a chamber musician in Slovenia, Salzburg, New Mexico, Los Angeles and Israel.


Desmond Neysmith, cello - A founding member of the Northern Lights Music Festival in Ajijic, Mexico, member of  "The Gogmagogs" music theater company and recipient of numerous awards and prizes, Neysmith has appeared as a soloist with many leading U.S. orchestras and as co-principal chair with La Orquesta Sinaloa Sinfonica de las Artes in Culiacan, Mexico.

This article was posted on: October 30, 2008

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