Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Daily Maverick, South Africa: 'Harlem Quartet: The soft power of two violins, a viola and a cello'

South Africa 
April 25, 2012
A small-scale but bursting-with-energy chamber ensemble, the quartet is the latest cultural exchange group visiting South Africa from America. J BROOKS SPECTOR spoke to the group after they performed for the students of Johannesburg’s National School for the Arts.

Visiting South Africa at the moment is a new chamber group from America, the Harlem Quartet. The Sphinx Organization, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the ethnic diversity in America’s classical music world, established the group in 2006. Bringing together four young, immaculately trained African American and Hispanic musicians, they play the standard classical chamber repertoire, as well as pieces like Joaquin Turina’s La Oracion del Toreo, compositions by contemporary jazz legends like Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis, and classic pieces by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, now arranged for string quartet.

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