The unique and inspired Sybarite5 will visit Key West for an Impromptu Concert performance at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 Duval St.
The concert will mark the beginning of Impromptu’s 2018 season, one which will celebrate the centennial of Leonard Bernstein, who was a frequent visitor to Key West.
Sybarites lived in an ancient Greek city in southern Italy where residents were noted for their love of pleasure, comfort and luxury. The aptly named Sybarite5 string quintet “excels at the exquisite,” according to the Washington Post. “They play with the frisson of relish, a sense of comfort and a mission of zeal.”
With an eclectic repertoire mixing new works, classical composers, 1950s Dave Brubeck jazz, Armenian folk songs and even some Argentinian tangos, Sybarite5 is the first string quintet to win the prestigious Concert Artists Guild International Competition.
The group has performed around the country, including performances in their home town of New York City, at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center. The ensemble has commissioned, premiered and promoted over 60 new works since its inception in 2006.
Argentinian violinist Sami Merdinian has received worldwide recognition for his outstanding performances as a soloist and chamber musician. In addition to performances throughout the world, he has received First Prize and Gold Medals at the New England International Chamber Music Competition in Boston.
Sarah Whitney, also on violin, holds a Bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Michigan School of Music as well as Master of Music and Professional Studies degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Canadian Angela Pickett, who plays viola, now lives in New York City, where she works as a teaching artist for Bridge Arts Ensemble and a chamber music coach for Lincoln Center Stage. She is a two-time recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Career Grant.
Cellist Laura Metcalf is noted for her “gorgeous cello legatos,” says the Washington Post, and her compelling solo and chamber music performances worldwide and in her home town of New York. She is also a devoted music educator.
Louis Levitt, on double bass, is a professor at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He has performed and lectured at the Curtis Institute, New England Conservatory, and the Mannes School College of Performing Arts at the New School in New York, among others.
At the Jan 7 concert, the Sybarite5 will perform “Somewhere,” from West Side Story, by the aforementioned Leonard Bernstein. The group will also perform works by Edward Elgar, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and from “Outliers;” a celebration of works written for the Sybarite5 by their favorite composers, and friends they’ve met traveling the world. These works include a eclectic selection from such composers as Andy Akiho, Kenji Bunch, Shawn Conley, Jessica Meyer, Marc Mellits, Brandon Ridenour, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Steven Snowden, and Dan Visconti paired with the group’s favorite works of Armenian folk music, Piazzolla, Barber and Radiohead.
The program is always subject to change, and an intermission will be held at some point during the afternoon.
For more information visit www.keywestimpromptu.org
Tickets for the concert cost $20, and are available at www.keystix.com, or at the door on the afternoon of the event. Cash, checks, or credit/debit cards accepted. Students admitted free. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. A reception will be held following the concert.