The Catalyst Quartet, comprised of leading laureates and alumni of the Sphinx Competition, performs music from its debut recording, Bach/Gould Project, in its Penn State premiere performance. The program features the quartet’s arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations paired with Glenn Gould’s String Quartet. A New York Times critic describes the quartet’s Carnegie Hall debut as “invariably energetic and finely burnished.” Sponsored by Detroit’s Sphinx Organization, which is dedicated to providing opportunities in classical music for African American and Hispanic musicians, the quartet includes violinists Karla Donehew-Perez and Jessie Montgomery, violist Paul Laraia, and cellist Karlos Rodriguez. Montgomery is on a leave of absence from the ensemble in fall 2015. Sybarite5’s Sami Merdinian will perform in her place. The quartet is also featured on the album Strum, a collection of string works composed by quartet member Montgomery. In addition to performing as a quartet across the United States and abroad, the musicians are also principal players with the Sphinx Virtuosi chamber orchestra.
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