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The Harlem String Quartet

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

Filmed at Music Mountain's Gordon Hall on August 7, 2016

Audio recording and broadcasts generously supported by Edward R. Hamilton, bookseller
Harlem Quartet and Cuban pianist-composer Aldo López-Gavilán again join forces to perform in the US and Canada for the 2016-17 season!
Harlem Quartet performs at Arkansas State University's Lecture-Concert Series

April 7, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in Riceland Hall of Fowler Center at Arkansas State in Jonesboro, AR.

Filmed by Dr. Tim Crist, chair of the Lecture-Concert Committee.
The performance was part of the "Harlem Resonance" festival at Symphony Space in April of 2013. Movements:
I. Quasi Tango
II. Quasi Waltz
V. Quasi Fugue
This string quartet concerto, commissioned by Harlem Quartet and premiered in June 2012 with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Mei-Ann Chen conducting, was arranged by Randall Fleischer in conjuction with The Leonard Bernstein Office.
Live Concert at the Library of Congress in December 2008. Each member of the Harlem Quartet is playing on a Stradivarius instrument for this concert. Principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic joins the Harlem Quartet for a Performance of Schubert's Cello Quintet in C Major. "Courtesy of White Pine Music. Copyright 2009 Central Michigan University." Sound engineer: Scott Burgess

The work consists of four movements:
I.Allegro ma non troppo
III.Scherzo. Presto Trio. Andante sostenuto

Harlem Quartet Members :
Ilmar Gavilan, violin
Melissa White, violin
Juan-Miguel Hernandez, viola
Desmond Neysmith, cello

Sciolino Management
Starring the Harlem Quartet, this video features footage compiled from the 4 continents they toured in 2014. Locations include several cities in Japan, Ethiopia, UK, Puerto Rico and the continental US.
Introduced by Chick Corea, the video opens with HQ on stage for the final concert of their "Hot House" Tour in Osaka, Japan. The soundtrack is the "Tango" from Chick Corea's String Quartet titled The Adventures of Hippocrates which is the first track on HQ's latest album, "Visionary."
Chick Corea ( and Gary Burton perform material from their new album Hot House, exploring their unique takes on "standards" -- by composers from Kurt Weill and Antonio Carlos Jobim to Thelonious Monk and Lennon & McCartney. The multiple Grammy-winning duo also adds the Harlem String Quartet, expanding their legendary chamber-jazz repertoire on Chick's composition "Mozart Goes Dancing" and classic Chick & Gary tunes.
Grammy-winning composition featuring Harlem Quartet, Chick Corea and Gary Burton
The wonderful team at WHYY's Articulate joined us at POP Academy when the Harlem Quartet came to practice for Evening of Harmony with our students.

Created by Arts Advance
Voiced by Jim Cotter
Written by Tori Marchiony
Edited by Max Mueller

Play On, Philly! cultivates emotional, cognitive, and behavioral skills necessary for life by providing high quality music education to underserved children in Philadelphia.
"You know, let's face it. When you think of classical music, it's not really an African American face that comes to mind," says Melissa White, a violinist and founding member of the Harlem Quartet.

But in a genre historically dominated by Europeans, the quartet is doing its part to change all that.

Founded by the Sphinx Organization in 2008, the Grammy-winning group was created to advance diversity in classical music, while engaging new audiences with a varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers.

Combined, African Americans and Latinos account for less than 4 percent of musicians in American symphonies.

"Diversity in classical music is a very positive ideal, because for so many years, in this country, that ideal was a homogenous thought. By bringing in different cultural values and viewpoints, they are bringing an American ideal of melting pot to the stage," says Moses Bernard Philips, a professor of ethnomusicology at CUNY's Medgar Evers College.

After a few personnel changes over the years, the quartet became even more diverse. Matthew Zelkind, a Jewish cellist from Salt Lake City, and Jaime Amador, a viola player from San Juan, Puerto Rico, joined the group in 2012.

Despite the quartet's talent, it hasn't always been received well.

"We had important mentors that would tell us, 'I don't think you will work in the European market.' We knew that meant, not only [was he] talking about the quality of our playing, but just the image," explains Ilmar Gavilan, a Cuban violinist and founding member.

To accommodate these audiences, the Harlem Quartet has started performances with jazz repertoire and sneaked in classical pieces to show that it can perform a variety of music.

"The Harlem Quartet projects a phenotype that when people see what is happening or when they see who is performing, they begin to change their attitude about what that group is and what they're capable of doing," says Philips.