Harlem Quartet joins as string faculty for summer camp

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Harlem Quartet joins as string faculty for summer camp

Our 2019 Summer Camp and International Music Festival is fast approaching! We’re excited for another wonderful year, and our amazing line up of faculty is an added bonus. For Week 2 of the festival, string students will learn directly from members of the Grammy Award-winning ensemble, Harlem Quartet. Keep reading to learn a little more about this amazing quartet!

New York-based Harlem Quartet, consisting of violinist Ilmar Gavilán, violinist Melissa White, violist Jaime Amador and cellist Felix Umansky, has entertained audiences in 47 states and more than nine countries. Harlem Quartet was founded on three distinct characteristics: diverse programming that combines music from the standard string quartet canon with jazz, Latin and contemporary works; a collaborative approach to performance that continually broadens the ensemble’s repertoire and audience reach through artistic partnerships with other musicians from the classical and jazz worlds; and an ongoing commitment to residency activity and other forms of educational outreach. Beyond performing professionally, the group has a mission to advance diversity in classical music by engaging new and young audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire that includes works from minority composers.

Hailing from Havana, Cuba, Ilmar Gavilán has taken his talents all over the world, from performing in front of President Obama at the White House and Queen Sofia of Spain at the Royal Palace of Madrid to playing alongside top stature artists of diverse styles such as Itzhak Perlman and Chick Corea. He also has numerous recordings with the Harlem Quartet, along with his own albums, including his most recent release “Por el Mar,” which is comprised of music composed by his father Guido Lopez-Gavilán. Gavilán taught at the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program for several years, in addition to private lessons and worldwide master classes.

Violinist Melissa White has received critical acclaim for solo performances with some of America’s leading orchestras, including Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Colorado and the Boston Pops. White also serves as the ensemble’s in-house grant writer, securing multiple grants such as James Madison University’s Cultural Connections Artist-In-Residence Grant and a 2016 Chamber Music America Residency Grant that allowed the Harlem Quartet to partake in an extended residency in Mobile, Alabama, and secured a partnership with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra.

Before joining the Harlem Quartet, violist Jaime Amador had a successful career in the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. Amador began his studies at the Children’s String Program of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, later continuing at the Juilliard School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and the New England Conservatory. Amador has participated in international music festivals and master classes worldwide, directed the string department at the 2011 FOSJA Youth Festival in San Juan and served as a teaching assistant to Eugene Becker at the Meadowmount School of Music.

Cellist Felix Umansky has performed all over Europe and North America, including venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Lincoln Center, the Krannert Center and the Kennedy Center. Umansky has been an artist-in-residence at Yale University and the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and has performed and led master classes at the University of Idaho, University of Iowa, University of Wyoming and Utah State University.

Join the Harlem Quartet, our talented students and dedicated faculty as we celebrate 10 (yes, 10!) years of our Summer Camp and International Music Festival. The Harlem Quartet will present a special, can’t-miss performance at First Congregational Church in Midtown Memphis on June 14 with a pre-concert conversation beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are only $20. We hope to see you there!