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Catalyst Quartet to Release UNCOVERED Vol. 1, Featuring The Works Of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and More

The UNCOVERED project aims to bring together the missing gems of the string quartet repertoire.

Catalyst Quartet to Release UNCOVERED Vol. 1, Featuring The Works Of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and More

On Friday, February 5, 2021, GRAMMY Award-winning Catalyst Quartet releases UNCOVERED Volume 1 on Azica Records. The first of a multi-volume set, Volume 1 features the works of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor including his Quintet in G minor for Piano and Strings with pianist Stewart Goodyear, Fantasiestück, and Quintet in F sharp minor with clarinetist Anthony McGill. UNCOVERED Volume 2 will feature the works of Florence Price and Volume 3 and beyond will feature Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, William Grant Still, and George Walker among others.

Catalyst Quartet poses, "Over the course of time there have been many overlooked artists in classical music, especially because of their race or gender. It is important to acknowledge that we have not yet heard the whole story due to this sidelining of musical voices. Composers like Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson have contributed beautifully crafted work to the repertoire but are not widely celebrated because quality recordings and performances of their music are rare or non existent. With our next recording project we are helping to change this unfortunate reality."

Catalyst Quartet violist Paul Laraia writes, "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was an iconic, Afro-British composer and a descendent of freed slaves who fought for the British in the American Revolutionary War. He was fascinated by the musical traditions of the American Spiritual, and sought to incorporate them into the classical tradition in the manner of Brahms with Hungarian music and Dvořák with Bohemian music. Despite being a success in his day and enjoying the support of Edward Elgar and noteworthy critics, he died relatively young at the age of 37 in financial stress, having received no royalties from his Song of Hiawatha, which was wildly successful throughout his lifetime. His story and death inspired the formation of the Performing Rights Society in England."

The UNCOVERED project aims to bring together the missing gems of the string quartet repertoire, in order to have a deeper and fuller understanding of musical eras that were much richer in experiences and perspectives than previously celebrated. Composers like Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson have contributed beautifully crafted work to the repertoire but are not widely celebrated because recordings and performances of their music are rare or non existent. Despite this, each composer has his or her own incredible story and unique compositional voice, that exemplifies their individual struggles and triumphs as pioneers of black-art in a traditionally white environment. It is imperative that their stories are told, and that we hear all the voices that have shaped and contributed to classical music.

About Anthony McGill
Hailed for his "trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character" (The New York Times), clarinetist Anthony McGill enjoys a dynamic international solo and chamber music career and is principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic-the first African-American principal player in the organization's history. He is the recipient of the 2020 Avery Fisher Prize, one of classical music's most significant awards.

McGill appears as a soloist with top orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Kansas City Symphony. He performed alongside Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gabriela Montero at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece by John Williams. As a chamber musician, McGill is a favorite collaborator of the Brentano, Daedalus, Guarneri, JACK, Miró, Pacifica, Shanghai, Takács, and Tokyo Quartets, as well as Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Gloria Chien, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Midori, Mitsuko Uchida, and Lang Lang.

He serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, and Bard College Conservatory of Music. He is the Artistic Director for the Music Advancement Program at The Juilliard School. In 2020, McGill's #TakeTwoKnees campaign protesting the death of George Floyd and historic racial injustice went viral. Learn more at www.anthonymcgill.com.

About Stewart Goodyear
Proclaimed "a phenomenon" by the Los Angeles Times and "one of the best pianists of his generation" by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished concert pianist, improviser and composer. Mr. Goodyear has performed with, and has been commissioned by, many of the major orchestras and chamber music organizations around the world.

Last year, Orchid Classics released Mr. Goodyear's recording of his suite for piano and orchestra, Callaloo, and his piano sonata. His recent commissions include a Piano Quintet for the Penderecki String Quartet, and a piano work for the Honens Piano Competition.

Mr. Goodyear's discography includes the complete sonatas and piano concertos of Beethoven, as well as concertos by Tchaikovsky, Grieg and Rachmaninov; an album of Ravel piano works; and an album, entitled For Glenn Gould, which combines repertoire from Mr. Gould's US and Montreal debuts. His Rachmaninov recording received a JUNO Award nomination for Best Classical Album for Soloist and Large Ensemble Accompaniment. Mr. Goodyear's recording of his own transcription of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker (Complete Ballet) was chosen by The New York Times as one of the best classical music recordings of 2015. His discography is released on the Marquis Classics, Orchid Classics, and Steinway and Sons labels. Learn more at www.stewartgoodyearpiano.com.

About Catalyst Quartet
Hailed by The New York Times at its Carnegie Hall debut as "invariably energetic and finely burnished... playing with earthy vigor," the Grammy Award-winning Catalyst Quartet was founded by the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Competition in 2010. The ensemble believes in the unity that can be achieved through music and imagine their programs and projects with this in mind, redefining and reimagining the classical music experience.

Catalyst Quartet, known for "perfect ensemble unity" and "unequaled class of execution" (Lincoln Journal Star), has 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/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall in New York. The quartet has been guest soloists 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 Organization's featured ensemble, the Sphinx Virtuosi, on six national tours. They have been invited to perform at important music festivals such as Mainly Mozart in San Diego, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Sitka Music Festival, Juneau Jazz and Classics, Strings Music Festival, and the Grand Canyon Music Festival, where they appear annually. Catalyst Quartet was ensemble-in-residence at the Vail Dance Festival in 2016. 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 with two performances in Jubilee Hall.

Recent seasons have brought international engagements in Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Puerto Rico, and expanded tours throughout the United States. The ensemble's New York City presence has included concerts on the Café Series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, at Columbia University's Miller Theatre, for Schneider Concerts at The New School, and six concerts with GRAMMY Award-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant for Jazz at Lincoln Center, for which the subsequent recording won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Catalyst Quartet launched its New York concert series CQ@Howl in 2018.

Highlights of recent collaborations include Encuentros, a program with cellist Gabriel Cabezas in the premiere of a new work by emerging Cuban composer Jorge Amado Molina and other voices from across the Cuban diaspora; Migrations, a collaboration with the Imani Winds; and CQ Minute, a commissioning project of 10 miniature string quartets in commemoration of the quartet's 10th anniversary with works by Andy Akiho, Kishi Bashi, Billy Childs, Paquito D'Rivera, Tania Leon, Jessie Montgomery, Kevin Puts, Caroline Shaw, Joan Tower, and one young composer to be selected from a national call for scores. Catalyst Quartet's latest project is UNCOVERED, a multi-volume set of albums to be released on Azica Records. The initiative celebrates beautifully crafted works by artists who have been overlooked and sidelined in classical music, especially because of their race or gender. Volume 1, released February 2021, includes the string quartet and quintets of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Stewart Goodyear. Volume 2 will feature works by Florence Price and Volume 3 and beyond will feature Coleridge-Taylor, Perkinson, William Grant Still, and George Walker, among others.

Catalyst Quartet's recordings span the ensemble's scope of interests and artistry. Its debut album, The Bach/Gould Project, features the quartet's own collaborative arrangement of J.S. Bach's monumental Goldberg Variations, the first ever 4-voiced version of the piece, paired with Glenn Gould's rarely heard String Quartet Op. 1. The ensemble can also be heard on Strum (Azica 2015), the solo debut album of composer Jessie Montgomery, who was a member violinist from 2012-2020; Bandaneon y cuerdas (Progressive Sounds 2017), tango-inspired music for string quartet and bandoneon by JP Jofre; and Dreams and Daggers (Mack Avenue Records 2017), a 2-CD GRAMMY-winning album with Cecile McLorin Salvant.

Catalyst Quartet combines a serious commitment to diversity and education with a passion for contemporary works. The ensemble serves as principal faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Curtis Institute of Music. Catalyst Quartet's ongoing residencies include interactive performance presentations and workshops with Native American student composers at the Grand Canyon Music Festival and the Sphinx Organization's Overture program, which delivers access to music education in Detroit and Flint, Michigan. Past residencies have included concerts and masterclasses at The University Of Michigan, University Of Washington, Rice University, Houston's Society for the Performing Arts, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, The Virginia Arts Festival, and Pennsylvania State University, as well as internationally at the In Harmony Project in England, The University of South Africa, and The Teatro De Bellas Artes in Cali, Colombia. The ensemble's residency in Havana, Cuba for the Cuban American Youth Orchestra in January 2019, was the first by an American string quartet since the revolution.

Catalyst Quartet members hold degrees from The Cleveland Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, The Curtis Institute of Music, and New England Conservatory. Catalyst Quartet is a Sphinx ensemble and proudly endorses Pirastro strings. Learn more at www.catalystquartet.com.

UNCOVERED Vol. 1 Track List
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Quintet in G minor for Piano and Strings (1893)
1. Allegro con moto
2. Larghetto
3. Scherzo
4. Allegro molto
Karla Donehew Perez, violin
Jessie Montgomery, violin
Paul Laraia, viola
Karlos Rodriguez, cello
Stewart Goodyear, piano

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Fantasiestücke Op. 5 (1895)
5. Prelude
6. Serenade
7. Humoresque
8. Minuet & Trio
9. Dance
Karla Donehew Perez, violin
Jessie Montgomery, violin
Paul Laraia, viola
Karlos Rodriguez, cello

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Quintet in F sharp minor for Clarinet and Strings, Op. 10 (1906)
10. Allegro energico
11. Larghetto affettuoso
12. Scherzo
13. Finale
Karla Donehew Perez, violin
Jessie Montgomery, violin
Paul Laraia, viola
Karlos Rodriguez, cello
Anthony McGill, clarinet

Producer: Alan Bise
Engineer: Bruce Egre
Editing and Mastering: Alan Bise
Cover Image and Graphic Design: Louise Mandumbwa
ACD-71336

Recorded at Sauder Concert Hall at Goshen College in Goshen, IN July 28-30, 2019


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