Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Five individuals, boundless opportunities

SYBARITE5 redefines the word with their music

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy photo This upcoming concert is an exciting collaboration between The Center and the SV Summer Symphony – to present an amazing up and coming string quintet. They will work all week in local Wood River Valley schools, will workshop with Wood River High School’s orchestra and will wrap up their residency with a performance that will include the orchestra students for two pieces. Their youthful approach to music and performance is an inspiration.

According to Wikipedia, a Sybarite was a resident of an ancient Greek city in southern Italy whose people were stereotyped as seekers of luxury and sensualism.
I don’t know what motivated this quirky quintet of gifted artists to adopt the name Sybarite5, but the sound they create makes me want a hot bath, a sheepskin to wrap in, some candles and … well you listen and figure out for yourself.
They’re headed for Carnegie Hall, for real, but this amazing act, playing everything from Radiohead to Mozart as a crossover string quintet, is stopping off in Hailey giving audiences a glimpse of stars truly on the rise.
SYBARITE5 is the opening act in the Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ 2012–13 Performing Arts Series on Saturday, Oct. 27, and the buzz on this group is that they are changing the perception of chamber music with electrifying performances.
Critics and audiences love this quintet. “[SYBARITE5] excelled at the exquisite . . . [they played] with relish, a sense of comfort, and a frisson of missionary zeal,” the Washington Post said, while the Sarasota Herald Tribune proclaimed that “their rock star status in the classical crossover world is well deserved.”
The band is fearless—unafraid to play a violin with spoons, for example, or to determine the evening’s program by pressing “shuffle” on an iPod. Audiences should be prepared for anything from Brahms to Brubeck and Piazzolla to Led Zeppelin.
Composed of Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violins; Angela Pickett, viola; Laura Metcalf, cello; and Louis Levitt, bass, SYBARITE5 is the first string quintet ever selected as winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in its 60-year history.
The ensemble also won the Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist Prize and performs regularly at the Aspen Music Festival.
SYBARITE5’s appearance is a collaborative project between The Center and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.
SYBARITE5 will perform in all local elementary schools and at Wood River Middle School, and will do intensive work with students of the Wood River High School Orchestra and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony School of Music. The concert is a joint presentation to benefit the educational programs of The Center and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.
Concert tickets are available online at Sun Valley Center members can buy discounted tickets for all five performances in the 2012–13 series for $115 (other performers are vocal duo Dala, blues guitarist Matt Andersen, Mexo-Americana ensemble David Wax Museum and the jazzy Michael Kaeshammer Trio). A special Critic’s Series Ticket, which helps defray the cost of presenting the series and includes preferred seating and a luncheon, is available for $500 ($350 tax deductible).

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