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ETHEL Named New Resident Ensemble at the Met Museum's Balcony Bar Friday & Saturday Evenings

ETHEL, the acclaimed string quartet that Pitchfork.com described as "a necessary jet of cold water in the contemporary classical scene," will begin performing as resident ensemble at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Balcony Bar on Friday, October 5, 2012. Marking the first time that a prominent musical group has been featured in that venue, ETHEL will perform there October 5 and 6, and on a regular basis, sometimes with friends and collaborators, throughout the year. To enliven the Balcony Bar programming, the quartet will also select musical groups from ETHEL's expansive list of notable colleagues to perform when the group is on the road. This new programming initiative will provide a variety of musical experiences to Met audiences delivered by a range of ensemble types and compositions. The Balcony Bar serves appetizers and cocktails on the second floor balcony overlooking the Great Hall. The performances, consisting of three sets between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m., are free with Museum admission.

"We are thrilled to give ETHEL a home in which they can reconnect to their roots," said Concerts & Lectures General Manager Limor Tomer. "They, and other artists engaged to perform in the Balcony Bar, will be playing the classical repertoire that the Balcony Bar patrons know and love, as well as new music-all infused with ETHEL's trademark lyricism and vigor. This residency will also offer them a place to workshop new artistic collaborations, giving Met patrons a sneak peek at exciting new things taking shape."

In a statement, ETHEL said, "We are honored and delighted to be working with the Metropolitan Museum in this way, bringing the art of sound and the craft of our colleagues into this magnificent space with its extraordinary atmosphere! We look forward to serving this great institution."

The New York City-based string quartet ETHEL (Ralph Farris, viola; Dorothy Lawson, cello; Kip Jones, violin; and Tema Watstein, violin) has been a post-classical pioneer since it was founded in 1998. Classically trained at the finest conservatories, ETHEL invigorates classical and contemporary concert music with exuberance, intensity, imaginative programming, and exceptional artistry. The group's 2012-13 season commences with a nationwide tour of "Tell Me Something Good," a celebration of the culture and sounds of the 1970s featuring rock icon Todd Rundgren. Other highlights will include a preliminary performance/workshop of "ETHEL's Documerica" as part of the Park Avenue Armory's week-long "Under Construction" series in New York City; appearances as the official house band of TEDxManhattan; and more.

Over the past three years, ETHEL has premiered more than 50 new works by 20th- and 21st-century composers, including pieces that were commissioned by the quartet or composed by ETHEL. Recent premieres and noteworthy performances include: Phil Kline's Space at the gala reopening of Alice Tully Hall; Radio by Osvaldo Golijov at the debut of WNYC Radio's Jerome L. Greene Space; ETHEL's TruckStop®: The Beginning at BAM's Next Wave Festival; "ETHEL Fair: The Songwriters" at opening night of Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival; and Wait for Green with choreography by Annie-B Parson, commissioned by arts>World Financial Center. www.ethelcentral.org.

The Balcony Bar has featured live music since 1991; the Museum introduced its evening hours in 1989.

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