Thalea String Quartet
Salon at the Hotel Rex
Christopher Whitley, violin
Kumiko Sakamoto, violin
Luis Bellorin, viola
Natalie Raney, cello
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | 6:30pm
JOAN TOWER: Night Fields
MENDELSSOHN: String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80
About This Performance
The first quartet-in-residence at the SF Conservatory of Music, this young ensemble gives voice to the old and new standards in compelling fashion. For their Salon debut, they pair American composer Joan Tower’s evocative Night Fields (1994)—“where waves of fast-moving colors ripple over the field, occasionally settling on a patch of gold”—with Mendelssohn’s last string quartet, Op. 80 (1847), a Requiem for his beloved sister, Fanny.
“Thalea never failed to deliver a stirring performance.”
Formed in 2014 at the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in Courmayeur, Italy, the Thalea String Quartet has been praised for their “vibrant performance” and “sincere expressivity” (SF Classical Voice). The quartet has performed recitals in Italy, the United States and Canada and was recently appointed as the first quartet-in-residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. They were named one of the “Top 10 Bay Area Quartets You Should Know” by CultureTrip.com and were the recipients of the 2016 Barbara Fritz Chamber Music Award from the Berkeley Piano Club. They made their debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in early 2016.
Recent collaborations include a performance of Mendelssohn’s Octet in its original manuscript form with the award-winning Borromeo Quartet and performances of works for voice and string quartet with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. The Thalea Quartet has also shared the stage with Geoff Nuttall of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Jeffrey LaDeur of the Delphi Trio, Jodi Levitz and composer Mason Bates as part of his Mercury Soul Project. The Thalea Quartet has been fortunate to have worked with members of the Juilliard, Kronos, Takács, Pacifica and Danish String Quartets. During their residency at the Banff Centre they worked with Gilbert Kalish and Mark Steinberg of the Brentano Quartet.
The members of the Thalea String Quartet are dedicated educators and bring their commitment to teaching and outreach to their frequent educational and community performances. They have performed educational concerts to students of all ages and regularly perform at care facilities across San Francisco.
The Thalea String Quartet has been featured on KDFC's The State of the Arts with Jeffrey Freymann and has performed on the program Revolutions per Minute, hosted by Bay Area Pianist Sarah Cahill on KALW.