Sybarite5 Not Your Grandma's Chamber Group

Since 2009, the string quintet Sybarite5 has won awards and top rankings in "Billboard Classical Music" for their compositions in chamber music and other genres.

Sybarite5 will perform eclectic works from its latest album "Outliers" and will also teach a class to the University of Miami Frost School Of Music students. The concert will be performed at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28 at UM Gusman Concert Hall in Coral Gables.

"We love to both perform and share and learn music with students," said bass player Louis Levitt, one of the founders of the quintet. "Whenever we perform at universities, there is a degree of informality and an environment for learning that is fun for the audiences."

Classical music radio station hosts and publications have branded Sybarite5 as "the millennial Kronos" for combining the disciplines of classical musicianship with the ability to innovative with new composers in producing eclectic genres on their many albums and concerts.

In concerts on tour, the set list of Sybarite5 includes diverse selections such as "15 Step" by Radiohead, "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" by Pete Seeger and classical works such as "Opus 35a" by Josef Suk.

"We love to improvise and, to some degree, we will not perform the same compositions in all cities along our tour. However, we will include selections from 'outliers' in a concert program that we title as 'Everything In Its Right Place'," said Levitt.

The quintet, which includes violinists Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, cellist Laura Metcalf, Angela Pickett on viola in addition to Levitt, all met as classical music students during the summer of 2009 at the Aspen Musical Festival in Colorado.

"At first, we had ten to twelve performers, but learned that five string performers were the perfect fit for the creation of Sybarite5. Not only are we all creative and disciplined, but we always perform together, and our sound comes from the blending and contributions from all five musicians," said Levitt.

"I knew from our inception that our experience in creating the musical forms for Sybarite5 would be memorable and unique. It is humbling to know how much music we created and will continue to create for many years to come," said Merdinian.

Over the years, Sybarite5 have toured in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York and earned prestigious awards for its many albums and tours.

Unlike many musicians in group who often disband after performing for several years, Levitt feels that the friendship of all five members of Sybraite5, on and off stage, will prevail for years to come.

"We are very much one happy family who love to perform and rehearse music together. There are no marriages or romantic relationships among us but for our love of creating and sharing music," said Levitt.

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