Sybarite5 is a classical crossover band that combines basic classical tunes with the grit and energy of rock, resulting in the kind of sound that can completely command an audience. They have been described by Sarasota Herald Tribune as the first ever string quintet to win the International Competition of Concert Artists Guild in sixty years. The band comprises of violinists Sarah Whiteny and Sami Merdinian; cello-player Laura Metcalf; viola-player Angela Pickett; and bassist Louis Levitt. Together, the five artists have changed the idea of chamber music performances.
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Since the moment they emerged, these five musicians with their own particular set of talents have taken the American audience by storm, engaging them in a new vision of sound that redefines the previous boundaries. In recent years, the band’s dynamic performances have turned heads with their novel mix; their EP disc titled Disturb the Silence includes music from groups such as Piazolla and Radiohead, alongside two of their original tracks. The EP debuted on Billboard Classical Crossover chart on number eleven. Sybarite5 tickets are considered to be quite the treat among classical crossover fans that anticipate the group eclectic repertoire.
Sybarite5 initially came together for the Aspen Music Festival, and was the first among string quintet to enter the prestigious Aspen String Quarter Advanced Studies program, where they got to work alongside Earl Carlyss from Juilliard Quartet, Cavani, Ying and American Quartets and bassist Edgar Meyer. The group is currently continuing its tenure at Aspen Music Festival as the newly appointed AMFS Alumni Ensemble. Their ongoing programs feature The Shuffle Effect, Radiohead Remix Project, New Music IDOL (that includes a string of brief new material from student composers), and DIDO Project, which is really a very novel multimedia presentation of melding art, humanism and technology of Purcell’s opera titled Dido and Aeneas. Also featured in their new material is the Adventurous Sylvia Ann Hewlett Artist Prize, which they were awarded in the 2011 CAG Competition, and which will commission the ensemble’s new piece. In their upcoming shows, the quintet is planning to perform the first concerto of orchestra and string quintet with world-recognized American composer Dan Visconti.
Following their win at the renowned CAG competition, Sybarite5 performed their first show with Carnegie Hall in November 2012 at Zankel Hall during the CAG series. Their other performances include St. John’s Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival, NYC’s Chautauqua Institution, Brooklyn and Newfoundland Conservatory of Music (that is supposed to be part of Five Boroughs Music Festival), alongside several concerts in Massachusetts, Florida, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Connecticut. Their most talked-about recent performances include those from the Aspen Music Festival, Library of Congress, at Lincoln Center in New York City, Bohemian National Hall, Tishman Auditorium, and Time Warner Center. They have also played shows at more diverse venues such as the Apple Store, Galapagos Artspace, Museum of Sex, the Cutting Room, the Core Club, as well as the Cell Theatre, where the quintet maintain resident status. In addition, they have made appearances on CBS’s Early Show and have performed before the Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Sybarite5 fans love the electric atmosphere of the band’s live performances, which can be credited to Louis Levitt who is not only a musical entrepreneur but also the directing force behind the group. His strong sound vision led to the creation of two distinct arrangements of alternative rock band Radiohead hits Paranoid Android and No Surprises, for the string quintet as well as the chorus. Both the songs have expressed that dark mood narrating obscure passages that have made process of meaning-deciphering even more intriguing. What is really mind-blowing is how well they have translated and transformed the original alternative electronic rock to the choral medium accompanied with a string. Their performances are the only one of their flavorful kind, so don’t miss; just grab some cheap Sybarite5 tickets and experience the metamorphosis of mainstream rock to contemporary classical crossover.
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