string quartet | Worldwide
Acclaim

The Harlem Quartet took the stage of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation by storm as they played the opener of Asheville Chamber Music's 67th series to a packed house. Their program was typical of what they usually program – some traditional "tried and true" works with music of various cultures and genres. Their mission of outreach to local schools, with visits, workshops, and coaching sesssions, was evident in the composition of the house, in which there was a whole bank of enthusiastic young people who'd turned out to hear them.

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Laura Pollie Johnson, CVNC.org (Asheville, NC)

The Harlem Quartet returned to Martha’s Vineyard Monday night, bringing music from three centuries and four nations to captivate its audience at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown.

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Louise Hufstader, Vineyard Gazette

With clear blue skies circulating around Music Mountain in Falls Village, the Harlem Quartet provided a lively entertainment in an eclectic yet wonderful program...

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Kim T. McEneany, The Millbrook Independent

Harlem Quartet graced the stage of the Symphony Hall of the Luis A. Ferré Fine Arts Center in Santurce last Sunday, in a spellbinding concert full of passion and devotion to the fourth art.

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Giovanna Garofalo, The Weekly Journal (San Juan)

Their diversity from classical to jazz, their amazing intuitive playing, their enthusiasm and professionalism, their poise and interpretation of such challenging music from Debussy, Dizzie Gillespie and Schubert, made one feel that music can transpose all issues.

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Juliet Jones, Herald Review (Grand Rapids, MN)

The Grammy-winning Harlem Quartet visited the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach at the Rosarian Academy Monday night, performing a mash-up concert of jazz standards bookended by two classical quartets.

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Kevin Wilt, The Daily News (Palm Beach)

Capping a weeklong residency of masterclasses and interactive programs for students, this one-of-a-kind quartet was ready to swing    

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Marcus Overton, The San Diego Union-Tribune
Lively NEC program mixes Webern, Strayhorn, Lopez-Gavilan, and Shostakovich

Harlem Quartet played Webern's Langsamer Satz with "warmth, convincing climaxes and a final, effective ebbing into silence" in its April 4 concert at New England Conservatory. In Guido Lopez-Gavilán's Cuarteto en Guaguacó, "Kudos to the cellist's groove, the violist's bravado, the second violinist's smiling projection and the first's heroic élan and leading." Strayhorn's Take the "A" Train featured solos "in good style and to uproarious effect." And a combined performance with the Omer Quartet, in music from the Shostakovich String Octet, "projected the sumptuous Prelude dramatically, with exemplary balances and voicing, and expertly thrilled in the skittish, inebriated Scherzo." 

Dan Stepner, The Boston Musical Intelligencer
Schumann quintet brings classical fire to "Houston Strong" benefit concert

Classical fires burned brightly when pianist Sarah Rothenberg and the Harlem Quartet stoked every note of Schumann's Piano Quintet in E-flat Major...

Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle

The Harlem Quartet returned to Maverick Concerts on Sunday with a program as substantial as most of what we’ve heard this season, and as well-played as any. From the opening moments of Turina’s La Oracion del Torero (The Bullfighter’s Prayer), it was obvious that we were in the presence of interpretive greatness...Though string quartets have been very well represented at Maverick this season, none has been more enjoyable than the Harlem.

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Leslie Gerber, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Guaguancó is one of the last styles anyone would associate with string quartets, and Ilmar Gavilán acknowledged it created challenges for them to learn to play. This gorgeous composition, in addition to providing each member of the quartet moments to shine, also required skills rarely seen from string players. 

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Walter Bilderback, DC Metro Theater Arts

Like that earlier concert, they warmed up with Beethoven, and it was young Beethoven with sprightly figures and warmth, and splashes of minor and even a Gypsy violin duel. That younger Beethoven was exquisitely “fresh,” and these four players gave it the bright-eyed clarity that it deserved.

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Adam Broner, Repeat Performances

The quartet began rehearsing at a space in Harlem, and visiting many of the neighborhood schools — thus the name. During this time, they began to develop their jazz repertoire.

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Lily O'Brien, San Francisco Classical Voice

"No concert we have ever had did more to further our mission of being high caliber, visible, accessible, and inclusive"

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Mary Beth Alger, Ashmont Hill Chamber Music

A rare glimpse of Cuban pan-musicality is on view this weekend as the López-Gavilán brothers — pianist Aldo and violinist Ilmar, with the Harlem Quartet — make their West Coast debut in a program of jazz, classical and Afro-Cuban music for piano and string quartet.

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Paul de Barros, The Seattle Times

"On their own, the quartet or the pianist would be headline attractions. Put them together and the result, as seen and heard on a busy recent Sunday afternoon, proved to be one of the highlights of the year."

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John W. Lambert, CVNC -- An online arts journal in North Carolina

The string quartet accompaniment (potently rendered by the Harlem Quartet) effectively mirrors the dialogue, flowing from quietly ominous gestures to vigorous throttle.

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Vivian Schweitzer, New York Times
The Harlem Quartet, dedicatees of [Michael Abels’s Delights & Dances], play all of this music very beautifully indeed. . . . The Chicago Sinfonietta under Mei-Ann Chen is a virtuoso group that accompanies with impressive technique, and the sonics are typically excellent. This is a very, very fine disc.” Read More...
David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
This quartet of contemporary works from Chicago's Cedille label is distinguished by the presence of the unusual combination of string quartet and orchestra in three of them. The combination is handled differently in each of the three works, making for a kaleidoscopic variety of textures despite the common medium. Read More...
James Manheim, AllMusic.com

This pairing of three works for string quartet and orchestra—including the world recording premiere of both Michael Abels’ Delights & Dances and Randall Craig Fleischer’s richly crafted arrangement of Leonard Bernstein’s popular West Side Story—is one of the most beautiful, most lively discs of modern music to come down the pike this year... The Harlem Quartet is exemplary, delivering staccato stabs and lush legato.

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Greg Cahill, Strings
This [Benjamin Lees: Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra] is an exhilarating and significant American concerto, and the Harlem Quartet and Chicago Sinfonietta play it for all it’s worth. Read More...
Robert Moon, audaud.com
The Harlem Quartet and the Chicago Sinfonietta (under conductor Mei-Ann Chen) pull off an energetic, well-blended performance. Read More...
Ronni Reich, nj.com
There's abundant vigour on this engaging collection of contemporary North American concerti grossi by the Harlem Quartet with the Chicago Sinfonietta. Read More...
Andy Gill, The Independent
In these two works [For Haydn’s “Fifths” Quartet in D Minor, Op. 76, No. 2 and for Beethoven’s Quartet No. 6 in B-flat Major, Op. 18], the quartet exhibited tight phrasing and well-controlled, starkly contrasting dynamics. Animated physicality abounded throughout, and the players really “dug in” during sections dominated by fiercely driving dance rhythms (the third movements of both works, for example). Read More...
Kristin Shafel Omiccioli, KCMetropolis.org, Kansas City's Online Journal of the Arts
... Dichter and the Harlem players adopted a down-to-earth, whole-grain approach, sacrificing delicacy for strength and resonance — a bravura performance that won them a standing ovation. Read More...
Stephen Brookes, The Washington Post
Most remarkable was the sense of balance among the players. Contrary to other ensembles, the Harlem Quartet was not dominated by the first violin. As a result, one could hear more clearly the intricate contrapuntal lines throughout the four movements. Read More...
Marcio Bezerra, Palm Beach Daily News

“The Harlem musicians, by the sound of it, keep together by listening to each other intently and through concerted muscular coordination they have developed by playing jazz and other improvisatory varieties of music together. The result is a flexible, immediate interaction which worked wonders for this early quartet of Beethoven. Their sunny warmth permeated the space between the notes throughout the work, bringing life to the quick movements and human breath to the slow movement.”

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Michael Miller, Berkshire Review
La Oración del Torero" is a work infused with Latin rhythm and harmony, much like that of Turina's more famous contemporaries Manuel de Falla and Enrique Granados. The blending and balance between the four players was exquisite, making it plainly clear they were very attuned to each other. Read More...
Kirby Hawkins, CVNC
“[Corea, Burton, and the Harlem Quartet] dove headlong into ‘Round Midnight,’ the strings adding considerable tonal depth and a sweeping, cinematic atmosphere to Thelonious Monk’s classic.” Read More...
Greg Haymes, Nippertown.com
They took my breath away in the same way that the bullfighter or bull would at the moment of truth. Read More...
James C.S. Liu, The Boston Musical Intelligencer
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