Harlem Quartet Visits Columbia High School for Masterclass

by The Village Green
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From South Orange-Maplewood School District Director of Fine Arts K-12 James Manno:

On October 14, 2021, the Harlem Quartet visited Columbia High School via an Artist In Resident Program curated by The John J. Cali School Of Music.  

Harlem Quartet is Cali’s new quartet-in-residence, introducing composer-in-residence Jessie Montgomery, and inaugurating a new weekly residency program that will include such luminaries as Wynton Marsalis and the Kronos Quartet.

The quartet already has a storied history – including a performance at The White House for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in 2009 and a highly successful tour of South Africa in 2012.

The musically versatile ensemble has performed with such distinguished artists as Itzhak Perlman, Ida Kavafian, Carter Brey, Fred Sherry, Misha Dichter, Jeremy Denk and Paquito D’Rivera. The quartet also collaborated with jazz masters Chick Corea and Gary Burton on the album Hot House, a 2013 multi-Grammy Award winning release.

Founding members Ilmar Gavilán (violin) and Melissa White (violin) are joined by Jaime Amador (viola) and Felix Umansky (cello). Although the group once shared a headquarters in Harlem, they hail from all over the hemisphere: Gavilán from Cuba, White from Michigan, Amador from Puerto Rico and Umansky from Indiana.

The Harlem String Quartet provided a Masterclass for Columbia High School’s Virtuosi ensemble coaching students in musicality and artistic interpretation of their high level repertoire.  

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