posted February 6, 2008

GPS to Feature the Harlem Quartet on Feb. 22

The Hope College Great Performance Series will feature the Harlem Quartet, A Sphinx Ensemble on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The performance will include works by Mozart, Marsalis, and Turina.

The Harlem Quartet is a string ensemble comprised of First-Place Laureates of the prestigious Sphinx Competition held in Detroit each year. The competition seeks to "increase the participation of Blacks & Latinos" in classical music.

"The Harlem Quartet played with panache," said "The New York Times" of the quartet's most recent Carnegie Hall appearance.

Dedicated to education and community engagement as well as to superb classical performance, the members of the all-Black and Latino string quartet serve as principal faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy in Massachusetts, one of the premier independent arts prep schools in the world, and as visiting faculty at the Sphinx Preparatory Music Institute at Wayne State University in Detroit.

The Harlem Quartet made its acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut in the fall of 2006 at the Sphinx Organization's 10th anniversary gala at Carnegie Hall, earning rave reviews from "The New York Times." A month later the quartet debuted at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, this time with a well-received performance of Wynton Marsalis's "At the Octoroon Balls." They returned to Carnegie in late January 2007 as participants in Arts Presenters' prestigious and highly competitive Young Performers Career Advancement (YPCA) program.

In the past 18 months the Harlem Quartet has been featured on WNBC, CNN, and "The Today Show"; and in September 2007 released its first CD, "Take the 'A' Train" on the White Pine Music label. The quartet's second and third CDs will be released later this year under the White Pine and Naxos labels respectively. The November, 2007, issue of "Strings" featured the Harlem Quartet, highlighting the group's debut CD, the profound musicianship, and close ties to the Sphinx Organization.

The Harlem Quartet has a unique and challenging mission reflecting the quartet's ties to the Sphinx competition: to advance diversity in classical music while engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire, highlighting works by minority composers.

While in Holland the quartet will also be performing for local elementary students.

The HopeCollege performance will include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Quartet in C major, K.465" (Dissonance), Joaquin Turina's "La Oracion del Torero," selections from Wynton Marsalis' "Quartet No. 1" (At the Octoroon Balls) and Duke Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train."

Tickets for the performance are on sale at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse, and cost $17 for regular admission, $12 for senior citizens, and $6 for children 18 and under. The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets. Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.

Additional information may be obtained online by visiting www.hope.edu/gps or at the Harlem Quartet site at www.harlemquartet.org.