Catalyst String Quartet

Hailed by the New York Times at their Carnegie Hall debut as “invariably energetic and finely burnished…playing with earthy vigor,” Catalyst Quartet is comprised of top Laureates and alumni of the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Competition. Known for “rhythmic energy, polyphonic clarity and tight ensemble-playing,” the ensemble has toured throughout the United States and abroad, including sold-out performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, at Chicago’s Harris Theater, Miami’s New World Center and Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. The quartet has also appeared as concerto soloists with the Bogotá Filharmónica, the Sphinx Virtuosi, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Catalyst Quartet has held concert residencies 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. International residencies where they perform and teach master classes have included the In Harmony Project in England, the University of South Africa, and the Teatro de Bellas Arts in Cali, Colombia.

Their recordings span the scope of their interests and artistry, including The Bach / Gould Project—Catalyst Quartet’s debut recording featuring the members’ own arrangement of J.S. Bach’s monumental Goldberg Variations paired with Glenn Gould’s seminal String Quartet, on the Azica label. Also Strum, featuring string works by CQ violinist, composer Jessie Montgomery, Bandaneon y cuerdas, tango-inspired music for string quartet and Bandaneon by JP Jofre, and Dreams and Daggers, Cecile McLorin Salvants tremendous two-disk album, featuring the Catalyst Quartet in a unique musical role. CQ has performed on numerous television and radio broadcasts for Detroit Public Television, American Public Media’s Performance Today, and Chicago, Houston, Seattle and Vermont local stations. The ensemble was also featured in the Strad and Strings magazine.

Catalyst Quartet has been invited as guest artists at important music festivals: Mainly Mozart in San Diego, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Sitka Music Festival, Juneau Jazz and Classics, Strings Music Festival, the Grand Canyon Music Festival, and the Vail International Dance Festival. In 2014, they opened the Festival del Sole in Napa with Joshua Bell and also participated in England’s Aldeburgh Music Foundation’s String Quartet Residency with two performances in Jubilee Hall. Recent seasons have brought international touring in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Puerto Rico, and expanded U.S. tours in Virginia, Minnesota, Hawaii, and California. Catalyst’s New York City presence has included concerts for the Lincoln Center’s Great Performers Series, the café series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at New York’s city center, at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, for Schneider Concerts at the The New School, and six concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant.

Founded by the Sphinx Organization, the Catalyst Quartet combines a serious commitment to diversity and education with a passion for contemporary works. In October 2016, the Quartet completed their sixth national tour as principal players and featured ensemble with the Sphinx Virtuosi. Catalyst Quartet members serve as principal faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Roosevelt University.