Sixth & I Sanctuary
600 I Street Northwest
Washington, D.C., 20001
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
"Their rock star status…is well deserved. Their classically honed technique mixed with grit and all out passionate attack transfixes the audience…" That is how The Sarasota Herald Tribune described Sybarite5, the first string quintet ever selected as a winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in its 60 year history. Comprised of Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violins; Angela Pickett, viola; Laura Metcalf, cello; and Louis Levitt, bass, Sybarite5 has taken audiences by storm all across the US, forever changing the perception of chamber music performance. From the moment their bows hit the strings, this quintet of talented, diverse musicians takes the audience on an exciting ride that engages the senses and redefines the rules.
From Mozart to Radiohead, Sybarite5's eclectic repertoire and dynamic performance style is turning heads throughout the music world: "[Sybarite5] excelled at the exquisite…[playing] with relish, a sense of comfort, and a frisson of missionary zeal" (The Washington Post). The Quintet's debut EP disc Disturb the Silence, featuring music by Radiohead and Piazzolla, plus two original works written for Sybarite5, was released in spring 2011 and quickly reached the top ten on Billboard's Classical Crossover chart. The group's follow-up CD, Everything in its Right Place, is a continuation of the Radiohead Remixed Project, to be released in fall 2012 on the CAG Records label.
As a result of its 2011 victory at the CAG Competition, Sybarite5makes its Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall in November 2012 on the CAG series. The group visits thirteen states and Canada during the 2012-13 season, with featured performances at UC San Diego, University of Arizona, Oklahoma State University, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, University of Nevada/Reno, Chautauqua Institution and the Washington Performing Arts Society's Music in the Country series.
Recent performance highlights include the Library of Congress, Aspen Music Festival, Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival and in New York at Lincoln Center, Time Warner Center, Tishman Auditorium and Bohemian National Hall. The Quintet has also performed at such diverse NYC locations as Galapagos Artspace, the Apple Store, the Museum of Sex, the Core Club, the Cutting Room and at the cell theatre, where Sybarite5 maintains a residency. The group has also performed on the CBS Early Show and for his Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Ongoing programs include the Radiohead Remixed Project, The Shuffle Effect, New Music IDOL (featuring a series of short new works by student composers), and The DIDO Project (a ground-breaking multimedia presentation of Purcell's opera Dido & Aeneas, melding art, technology & humanism). Also at the 2011 CAG Competition, Sybarite5 was awarded the new Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist Prize, which will be used to commission a new piece for the ensemble. In 2014, the Quintet looks forward to premiering the world's first concerto for string quintet and orchestra by the acclaimed American composer Dan Visconti.
Formed at the Aspen Music Festival, Sybarite5was the first string quintet admitted to the Aspen Advanced String Quartet Studies program, where the group worked with Earl Carlyss of the Juilliard Quartet, bassist Edgar Meyer and the Cavani, American and Ying Quartets. Currently the ensemble continues its tenure at the Aspen Music Festival in a new capacity as the AMFS Alumni Ensemble.