Updated 3/29/22: Masks Required/Vaccination Strongly Recommended
See Our Health and Safety Factsheet  ➔

Catalyst Quartet
Dashon BurtonBass-Baritone

Catalyst Quartet with Dashon Burton
Karla Donehew Perez, violin Abi Fayette, violin Paul Laraia, viola Karlos Rodriguez, cello

Friday, February 11, 2022 | 7:30pm

Herbst TheatreVenue InformationSan Francisco


About This Performance

The Catalyst Quartet continues its exploration of compelling chamber works in this collaborative program with bass-baritone Dashon Burton, featuring the songs of Florence B. Price.


JOSEPH BOLOGNE LE CHEVALIER DE ST. GEORGES: String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 1; String Quartet in D Major, Op. 1, No. 6
WILLIAM GRANT STILL: Lyric String Quartette
FLORENCE PRICE (Arr. Dashon Burton): Art Songs
FLORENCE PRICE: String Quartet No. 2 in A minor

Artist Information

Performer Biographies

Hailed by the New York Times as “invariably energetic and finely burnished…playing with earthy vigor,” the Grammy Award-winning Catalyst Quartet celebrated the 10th Anniversary of its founding by the Sphinx Organization. They have toured widely throughout the United States and abroad, including sold-out performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., at Chicago’s Harris Theater, Miami’s New World Center, and Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. The Quartet has been guest artists with the Cincinnati Symphony, New Haven Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, and has served as principal players and featured ensemble with the Sphinx Virtuosi on six national tours. They have performed at prominent music festivals ranging from Mainly Mozart to the Sitka Music Festival and Juneau Jazz and Classics; the Grand Canyon Music Festival, where they appear annually; and the Vail Dance Festival. In 2014 they opened the Festival del Sole in Napa, California with Joshua Bell and participated in England’s Aldeburgh Music Foundation String Quartet Residency.

International engagements have brought them to Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Puerto Rico. Residents of New York City, the ensemble has performed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, City Center, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Schneider Concerts, and Lincoln Center including six concerts with Cécile McLorin Salvant. The subsequent recording won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Catalyst Quartet launched its own New York series CQ@Howl in 2018.

Recent collaborations include (im)igration, with the Imani Winds, CQ Minute, 10 miniature string quartets commissioned for their anniversary. And the premiere of the still, small voice with the Harlem Quartet. UNCOVERED, a multi-CD series of recordings for Azica Records celebrates beautifully crafted works by composers overlooked and sidelined because of their race or gender. Volume 1, released in February 2021 with Anthony McGill and Stewart Goodyear, includes the string quartet and quintets of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Forthcoming releases will feature music of Florence Price, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, William Grant Still and George Walker, among others.

Catalyst Quartet’s other recordings include: The Bach/Gould Project, featuring the Quartet’s arrangement of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations paired with Glenn Gould’s String Quartet Opus 1; Strum, music of Jessie Montgomery; Bandoneon y cuerdas: tango-inspired music for string quartet and bandoneon by JP Jofre; and Dreams and Daggers with Cecile McLorin Salvant.

Catalyst Quartet combines a serious commitment to diversity and education with a passion for contemporary works. They serve as principal faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Curtis Institute of Music. Past residencies have included concerts at the University of Michigan, University of Washington, Rice University, Houston’s Society for the Performing Arts, The Virginia Arts Festival, the In Harmony Project in England, The University of South Africa, and The Teatro De Bellas Artes in Cali, Colombia. Their residency in Havana, Cuba in January 2019, was the first by an American string quartet since the revolution.

Catalyst Quartet is a Sphinx ensemble and proudly endorses Pirastro strings.

Bass-baritone Dashon Burton has established a vibrant career in opera, recital, and with orchestra. In key elements of his repertoire—Bach’s Passions and the B minor Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven 9, the Brahms Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Mozart’s Requiem—Dashon is a frequent guest with the major orchestras of the United States, Europe, and Japan.

In the 2019–20 season, he performed these works and others with the Minnesota and National Arts Centre Orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. A frequent guest of the Cleveland Orchestra, he sang Michael Tilson Thomas’ Rilke Songs there, led by the composer. In the fall of 2019, Dashon sang the world premiere of Caroline Shaw’s The Listeners (a part written by Shaw specifically for Burton), with the Philharmonia Baroque and Nicholas McGegan.

Opera engagements have included Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte in Dijon and Paris and Jupiter in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux with Les Talens Lyriques; Strauss’ Salome at the Salzburg Festival (led by Franz Welser-Möst in a production by Romeo Castellucci), and Peter Sellars’s production of Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus, un ritual de mort at Paris’ Théatre de la Ville.

Burton continued as a Resident Artist in the 2019–20 season with San Francisco Performances, and sang recitals throughout the US, including a program based on works from his album Songs and Struggles of Redemption; We Shall Overcome, singled out by The New York Times as “profoundly moving…a beautiful and lovable disc.” Dashon is an original member of the groundbreaking vocal ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, with whom he won a Grammy for their recording of Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer-Prizewinning Partita for 8 Voices. In March of 2021, Burton won his second Grammy, this time for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album for Dame Ethyl Smyth’s The Prison with The Experiential Orchestra on Chandos.

Artist Videos

Catalyst Quartet Plays George Walker’s Lyric for Strings

Dashon Burton at the 49th IVC 2012 Finals