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A listener with closed eyes would have been hard pressed to distinguish the 26-year-old’s shapely, expressive performance with that of another gifted artist two or three times his age.

–The Plain Dealer

The Cuban-American cellist Thomas Mesa has established himself as one of the most charismatic, innovative, and engaging performers of his generation.  Mr. Mesa was the winner of the $50,000 First Prize in the 2016 Sphinx Competition; the Thaviu Competition for String Performance (Chicago, 2013); The Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions; and the Alhambra Orchestra Concerto Competition.  He has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the United States and Mexico, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Santa Barbara Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra which received this rave review from the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “A listener with closed eyes would have been hard pressed to distinguish [Mesa’s] shapely, expressive performance from that of another gifted artist two or three times his age.”

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18

Oct

September 29th – October 18th: Sphinx Virtuosi Fall Tour

Program

“For Justice and Peace”

Performances include Carnegie Hall in NYC, Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston, and Cleveland Institute of Music.

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In his Elegy, a Black British composer, Philip Herbert, looks to solace when justice could not be served for an 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence, whose life was lost to a tragic incident of violence. Justice and peace find their way into music without regard to time and place: on this program, we offer Jessie Montgomery’s Source Code, which pays homage to African American artists prominent during the peak of the Civil Rights era in the United States.  Even Schubert’s Death and the Maiden, written only a few short years after the composer’s arrest due to rebellious behavior toward the authorities, suggest the most unlikely use of power and protest. Bela Bartok, who was destined to leave Europe for America was looking for peace and solace during a challenging time for his homeland Hungary, as World War II approached.  As we reflect on the historical and current challenges of Venezuela, we chose the music of Romero, who invoked traditional dance and improvisatory qualities to entice his audiences. Xavier Foley’s new work pays tribute to some of the divisiveness of our days, while also offering light and hope. Abels’ Global Warming speaks to not only the well-being of our earth, but expresses a hopeful outlook he had upon global relations and transcending cultural difference.   In the end, as a listener, you must decide the role both artists and citizens can play in propelling peace and positivity.