The College of Arts and Architecture

CMP Ambassador Leaders Host First Event

classical music project logo
The newly appointed 2015-16 Classical Music Project Student Ambassador Leaders - Dave Phillips, Tetyana Pyatovolenko, and Joseph Helinski - will host their first CMP Student Ambassador Leaders, 2015-16function on Thursday, September 17 at 12:00 p.m. in 110 Music Building I.

Titled "Opening Bach to the World: A Lunchtime Discussion with Catalyst Quartet," the discussion moderated by the Ambassador Leaders will explore the process of adapting the Johann Sebastian Bach's "Goldberg Variations" for string quartet, and how that effort was a factor in creating Catalyst’s “voice” in its first commercial CD recording. The session will also include a discussion about how classical performers can extend their roles as interpreters to include composing and arranging as well.

The Catalyst Quartet will make its Penn State premiere on Thursday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Esber Recital Hall. The program features the quartet’s arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations paired with Glenn Gould’s String Quartet. For tickets, click here.

The quartet is comprised of leading laureates and alumni of the Sphinx Competition, makes its Penn State premiere. A New York Times critic describes the quartet’s Carnegie Hall debut as “invariably energetic and finely burnished.” Sponsored by Detroit’s Sphinx Organization, which is dedicated to providing opportunities in classical music for African American and Hispanic musicians, the quartet includes violinists Karla Donehew-Perez and Jessie Montgomery, violist Paul Laraia, and cellist Karlos catalyst quartetRodriguez. Montgomery is on a leave of absence from the ensemble in fall 2015. Sybarite5’s Sami Merdinian will perform in her place.

The quartet’s debut recording, Bach/Gould Project, includes music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Glenn Gould. The quartet is also featured on the album Strum, a collection of string works composed by quartet member Montgomery. In addition to performing as a quartet across the United States and abroad, the musicians are also principal players with the Sphinx Virtuosi chamber orchestra.

This presentation is a component of the Center for the Performing Arts Classical Music Project. With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project provides opportunities to engage students, faculty and the community with classical music artists and programs. Please visit for additional information regarding the Classical Music Project.