Cecilia String Quartet Announces Final Season

July 21, 2017

It is with mixed emotions that the Cecilia String Quartet announces the 17/18 concert season as its last performing together as an ensemble.

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Min-Jeong Koh and Sarah Nematallah, violins

Caitlin Boyle, viola

Rachel Desoer, cello


Winner of the 2010 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Canadian-based Cecilia String Quartet has delighted audiences around the globe with “powerful” (Chicago Sun-Times) and “dauntingly perfect” (Berliner Zeitung) performances, as well as a charming and accessible personality. The Cecilia String Quartet has been a champion of accessible music concerts, founding Xenia Concerts, a series catering to children on the autism spectrum and their families.

For its final season, the Cecilia String Quartet will return to some of its favorite and most supportive series, including Festival of the Sound, University of Toronto, Ottawa Chamber Music Society, and Jeffery Concerts. Additionally, the Quartet will do two European tours, and present several Xenia Concerts throughout the season.

The Cecilia String Quartet recently joined the roster of New York-based boutique agency, Arts28. Under the management of Arts28 founder and managing director, Katherine Womer Benjamin, the Quartet was poised to gain an increased presence in the United States. Despite her short time working with the Quartet, Ms. Womer Benjamin has grown quite fond of the group, and is sad to see such a gifted ensemble come to an end.

Joining the Cecilia String Quartet for its final season will be acclaimed cellist, Claire Bryant. Ms. Bryant will step in for Cecilia Quartet member, Rachel Desoer, who will leave the group in October 2017 to honor personal project commitments.

Although the Cecilia String Quartet’s time together is coming to an end, we will no doubt continue to hear the remarkable playing of members Min-Jeong Koh, Sarah Nematallah, Caitlin Boyle, and Rachel Desoer, as they move forward in their performance careers.

Arts28 Welcomes Bohemian Trio to the Roster

We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with the wonderful Bohemian Trio, as exclusive manager for North America.

Immersed in different cultural and musical backgrounds, Yosvany Terry, Orlando Alonso, and Yves Dharamraj joined forces in 2013 to form Bohemian Trio. The three musicians were drawn to the idea that their blend of traditions would speak to the true voice of the Americas: a cacophony of cultures that, together, forges a new identity that transcends Old World boundaries.

The piano, cello, and saxophone of this New York-based trio bring the diverse sounds and rhythms of Cuba and the Americas to life in an original brand of new music. With roots in Cuba, France, Trinidad, and the US, the Trio shifts intuitively among classical, jazz, and world music. At the heart of their collaborations are Yosvany Terry’s original works, which are driven by Afro-Cuban rhythms, sweeping classical melodies, and a touch of improvisation. The Trio’s repertoire is rounded out with commissioned works by composers such as Manuel Valera, Sonia Jacobsen, Pedro Giraudo, and Emilio Solla, and favorites from the classical genre, such as Passacaille from Ravel’s Piano Trio.

The members of Bohemian Trio are distinguished graduates of Cuba’s Escuela Nacional de Arte, Juilliard, Yale University, and Manhattan School of Music; they have won international competitions and major awards including Grammys; they have collaborated with artists such as Chucho Valdes, Branford Marsalis, Joshua Bell, and Itzhak Perlman, and perform regularly on five continents in the world’s most renowned halls.

Bohemian Trio released its critically-acclaimed debut album, “Okónkolo”, on Innova Records in February, 2017. Larry Blumenfeld of the Wall Street Journal writes, “Together, these musicians honor heritages that blur more than reinforce borders: the blend of European and African traditions that centuries ago amounted to a New World; and the sweet spot sought by many contemporary composers, especially in New York, grounded more in creativity than genre.”

Upcoming season highlights include a tour of Cuba featuring an invitation by La Casa de las Americas to perform and lecture on the influence of Cuba on today’s music, the Trio’s debut at the prestigious Lincoln Center Festival (New York), the Trio’s South American debut at New Docta International Music Festival  (Argentina), and a triple-concerto commission for Chick Corea with a consortium of major US orchestras.

Claremont Trio Recording Release Set for January 2017

The Claremont Trio‘s newest recording project, Spheres, will be released on January 20, 2017 on the American Modern Recordings label. Spheres features three trios by composer Robert Paterson: Sun Trio, Moon Trio, and Elegy. The Claremonts are joined by their former pianist Donna Kwong on Sun Trio, and cellist Karen Ouzounian on Elegy. The entire album was recorded at the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City and produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by legendary producer and engineer Adam Abeshouse.

After recording Paterson’s Sun Trio, the Claremont Trio suggested the idea of Paterson composing a brand new trio especially for their ensemble, and for this album, which ended up being Moon Trio. To round out the album, Paterson suggested his Elegy for two cellos and piano. All three of the works on Spheres are inspired by or have something to do with celestial bodies—the sun, moon and the cosmos.

Spheres will be available for purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and from all other major retailers and digital outlets.

Dorian Wind Quintet Awarded Wigeland Fund Grant

The Dorian Quintet has just been awarded a grant by the American-Scandinavian Foundation in association with the Andrew E. and G. Norman Wigeland Fund. The Quintet has commissioned Norwegian composer, Wolfgang Plagge, who is writing a wind sextet that will have its world premiere in New York City in winter 2018. The Quintet expects to take the sextet on the road with Maestro Plagge, with premieres in cultural centers in Europe and Asia, and plans to release a studio recording of the piece as well. We are all very excited to see this project come to life!

Michael Owen Completes Orlando LOVE Mural

Known for creating the Baltimore Love Project, Michael Owen has recently left his mark on Florida, painting his iconic LOVE hands directly across from Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Michael spent part of his childhood in Orlando, and still has friends and family there. After the June 2016 tragedy, he set out to find a way to spread some love to the community that is still hurting so deeply.

Michael worked with the wonderful folks at the OnePulse Foundation and the Einstein Noah Restaurant Group to secure a location, plot out the project, and install the piece. Everyone involved on the project donated time and materials, and Michael donated his extraordinary talent. Monetary support was given by individual donors, as were in-kind donations from organizations including Sherwin-Williams, Sam Flax of Orlando, Sunbelt Rentals, Johnson’s Wrecker Service, and Downtown South.

The mural features forty-nine orange blossom flowers, adorning Michael’s symbolic hands. The orange blossoms, each one unique in its design and execution, honor the fallen victims. The ‘Love Blossoms’ mural is Michael’s love letter to a city he holds dear. He hopes it will be a lasting beacon of hope and healing for the Pulse community and the City of Orlando. Read more about the project in the Orlando Sentinel.

SONYC Wins Fromm Foundation Grant

String Orchestra of New York City has just been awarded the coveted Fromm Foundation Grant. SONYC will use the funds on an exciting new collaborative piece, for which the group has commissioned well-known Cuban composer, Keyla Orozco. The performance piece will showcase the work of percussive dance and tapper, Max Pollak. It promises to be a thrilling performance art experience, and is scheduled to premiere during the 17/18 season.