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Press Releases

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Presents Harlem Quartet with Aldo López-Gavilán

January 13, 2022 | By Laura Stegman
The Wallis

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts presents Harlem Quartet with Cuban pianist/composer Aldo López-Gavilán, offering an incomparable experience on Saturday, January 22, 2022, 7:30 pm, in The Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater. The collaboration reunites López-Gavilán with his older brother, violinist Ilmar Gavilán, who left Cuba at age 14 and went on to co-found Harlem Quartet. López-Gavilán and the quartet showcase remarkable chemistry in a broad variety of repertoire. The evening includes American jazz standards, bossa nova classics, and several original compositions from López-Gavilán that take audiences on a journey through Cuba’s myriad musical traditions, among them Aegean Dreams, Viernes de Ciudad, Quicktune, Eclipse, and Pan Con Timba. The program also features Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia (arranged by Harlem Quartet and Aldo López-Gavilán), and Strayhorn’s Take the A Train (arranged by Harlem Quartet and Aldo López-Gavilán). Harlem Quartet members, who are Wallis regulars and audience favorites, are Ilmar Gavilán, violin, Melissa White, violin, Jaime Amador, viola, and Felix Umansky, cello.

 

According to Playbill, “Harlem Quartet is one of the greatest string quartets I have ever heard. They can play anything.” The London Times says, “López-Gavilán is not only a formidable virtuoso but also exceeds in works that require extraordinary color and fascinating sounds. His natural talent never suffers and his original thinking as an artist assures a performance of amazing playing and individuality.”

 

A new documentary, Los Hermanos/The Brothers, tells the story of Aldo and Ilmar, tracking their shared childhood, their momentous first performances together, and their parallel lives as musicians. A Patchwork Films production by Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, it includes concert footage of the quintet, a genre-bending score composed by Aldo, and guest appearances by such legendary musicians as Joshua Bell. Los Hermanos is screening at film festivals worldwide and nationally broadcast on PBS.

 

Ticket prices are $29-$79 per person. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills. To purchase tickets and for more information, please call 310-746-4000 (Monday – Friday, 10 am to 6 pm) or visit

TheWallis.org/hq.

 

The Wallis is closely monitoring the ever-changing local health and safety environment carefully and addressing known health factors at the moment.  Should plans change and any performance be required to be postponed or cancelled or if venue capacity limitations are instituted, ticket holders will be notified immediately with options for their purchased tickets per The Wallis' ticketing policies.

 

The health and safety of patrons, our staff, and artists inside and outside our venue are a top priority for The Wallis, which is requiring all patrons to provide, upon entry, proof of full vaccination, including proof of a booster shot, or a negative PCR test result within 48 hours or a verifiable Antigen test within 24 hours from your performance date, along with a government issued photo ID. Facial masks, covering both the mouth and nose, are still required at all times while within the venue. The Wallis' health and safety protocols are also subject to change at the venue's sole discretion or in accordance with LA County and City of Beverly Hills regulations. Our current Health & Safety Protocols and updates may also be accessed at TheWallis.org/Safety.

 

About Harlem Quartet

Harlem Quartet has been praised for its "panache" in The New York Times and hailed in the Cincinnati Enquirer for “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent.” It has also won plaudits from such veteran musicians as Jazz at Lincoln Center woodwind virtuoso Ted Nash, who declared in a 2018 Playbill article, “Harlem Quartet is one of the greatest string quartets I have ever heard. They can play anything.” Since its public debut at Carnegie Hall in 2006, the ensemble has thrilled audiences and students throughout the U.S. as well as in the U.K., France, Belgium, Brazil, Panama, Canada, Venezuela, Japan, Ethiopia, and South Africa. The quartet’s mission is to advance diversity in classical music, engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire that includes works by composers of color. Passion for this work has made the quartet a leading ensemble in both educational and community engagement activities. It began a multi-year residency with London’s Royal College of Music in 2018. From 2015 to 2020 it led an annual workshop at Music Mountain in Falls Village, Connecticut. In 2021 it began two other institutional affiliations: as the inaugural Grissom Artist in Residence at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and as Quartet in Residence at Montclair State University in northeastern New Jersey. In 2012, Harlem Quartet and the Chicago Sinfonietta led by Music Director Mei-Ann Chen premiered Randall Craig Fleischer’s arrangement for string quartet and orchestra of music from West Side Story, and together they recorded that arrangement for Cedille Records along with works for string quartet and orchestra by Michael Abels and Benjamin Lees. The quartet collaborated with jazz pianist Chick Corea in a Grammy-winning Hot House album that included Corea’s "Mozart Goes Dancing," which won a separate Grammy as Best Instrumental Composition. Harlem Quartet’s latest album, the July 2020 release Cross Pollination, features works by Debussy, William Bolcom, Dizzy Gillespie, and Guido López-Gavilán. Harlem Quartet was founded in 2006 by the Sphinx Organization, a national nonprofit dedicated to building diversity in classical music and providing access to music education in underserved communities.

 

 

About Aldo López-Gavilán

Praised for his “dazzling technique and rhythmic fire” in the Seattle Times and dubbed a “formidable virtuoso” by The Times (London), Cuban pianist and composer Aldo López-Gavilán excels in both the classical and jazz worlds as a recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber-music collaborator, and performer of his own electrifying jazz compositions. He has appeared in such prestigious concert halls as the Amadeo Roldán (Cuba), Teresa Carreño (Venezuela), Bellas Artes (Mexico), Carnegie Hall and Jordan Hall (U.S.), Royal Festival Hall (U.K.), Nybrokajen 11 (Sweden), The Hall of Music (Russia), and Duc de Lombard et Petit Journal Montparnasse (France), as well as venues in Canada, Santo Domingo, Colombia, Spain, Greece, Hong Kong, Burkina Faso, Germany, and Austria. López-Gavilán was born in Cuba to a family of internationally acclaimed classical musicians, his father a conductor and composer, his mother a concert pianist. At the age of five, he had written his first musical composition. His mother introduced the budding prodigy to the piano at the age of four, and he began formal piano studies at seven. His first international triumph came at the age of eleven when he won a Danny Kaye International Children’s Award, organized by UNICEF. He made his professional debut at age twelve with the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra and later went on to perform Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Cuba. Parallel to his classical abilities, López-Gavilán developed remarkable skills in improvisation. He was invited to perform in the world-famous Havana Jazz Festival with the legendary Chucho Valdés, who called him “simply a genius, a star.”

 

About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts: 

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is a dynamic cultural hub and community resource where local, national and international artists share their artistry with ever-expanding audiences. The campus, located in the heart of Beverly Hills, CA, is committed to robust and distinctive presentations and education programs curated with both creativity and social impact in mind. Distinguished by its eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its location in the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis has produced and presented more than 300 dance, theater, opera, classical music, cinema and family programs since its doors opened in October 2013. Hailed as “au courant” (LaLa Magazine), The Wallis was lauded by Culture Vulture, which proclaims, “If you love expecting the unexpected in the performing arts, you have to love The Wallis.” Its programming has been nominated for 79 Ovation Awards and nine L.A. Drama Critic's Circle Awards. The campus itself, a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot facility, celebrating the classic and the modern, has garnered six architectural awards. Designed by acclaimed architect Zoltan E. Pali (SPF:architects), the restored building features the original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places), which serves as the theater's dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and includes the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater; the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater; an inviting open-air plaza for family, community and other performances; and GRoW @ The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education, where learning opportunities for all ages and backgrounds abound. Together, these elements embrace the city's history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is led by Chairman of the Board Michael Nemeroff and Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer Rachel Fine.

 

For more information about The Wallis, please visit: TheWallis.org.

For downloadable photos, please visit: TheWallis.org/Press.

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