• September 22, 2014

Dali Quartet brings classical grace, Latin soul

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Posted: Friday, January 10, 2014 4:30 am

In a tantalizing change-up for area classical music devotees, the Central Texas Orchestral Society will present the Dali Quartet in concert at Temple’s Cultural Activities Center Sunday afternoon. Made up of youthful Latinos — three Venezuelans and one Puerto Rican — the string ensemble will perform several Hispanic flavored pieces in addition to the A Minor Quartet by Johannes Brahms.

The group’s name is taken from the legendary surrealist Salvador Dali, in the hope that their eclectic, imaginative blend of musical genres will echo the artist’s groundbreaking visual masterpieces.

Two additional musicians will join the quartet after intermission: percussionist Orlando Cotto, of Puerto Rico, and Sarah Favinger on double bass.

“We have collaborated with Orlando on several occasions,” said spokeman Carlos Rubio, “We love working with him. Sarah is earning a master’s degree in bass performance at Baylor; she was recommended to us by a colleague.”

The Dali Quartet is a resident ensemble of Philadelphia’s Pearl Chamber Orchestra, which is dedicated to “normalizing” minority participation in classical music. It also serves as Quartet in Residence for Pennsylvania’s Elite Strings Program, and hosts a summer music camp and festival. Individual musicians in the group have recorded on the Dorian, Centaur and Naxos labels as well as toured in cities spanning from Toronto to Caracas, Venezuela.

Doing double-duty, the quartet will return to the CAC stage at 11 a.m. Monday for the Marty Lundgren Master Class series. The class is described by Rubio as “an interactive program that takes participants on a journey of different rhythms and melodies, including Argentinean tangos, Cuban boleros, Caribbean rumbas and Venezuelan joropos.”

The Dali Quartet wants the young audience to “learn various rhythmic patterns, dance steps and the origin of many of these and how they relate to and influence Western classical music,” Rubio said.

“Our aim is to showcase shared musical heritages between the hemispheres,” Rubio said. “The U.S. is becoming increasingly diverse and we want to celebrate this with our audiences. Our hope is that our concerts are a place of discovery for audiences.”

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