Saturday November 14 2020, 7:30 PM

Thalea String Quartet

St. John's Anglican Church, Lunenburg
Saturday 14 November – 7:30 PM


Christopher Whitley

Kumiko Sakamoto

Luis Bellorín

Titilayo Ayangade


Musique Royale is delighted to present a one night only virtual concert featuring Thalea String Quartet. The concert program highlights the quartet’s interest in exploring diverse voices and influences in classical music, including African-American composer Florence Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint, and a work by Canadian Inuk composer Tanya Tagaq. The performances were recorded at Gildenhorn Recital Hall at the University of Maryland at College Park and the Music Room at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY.

The virtual concert will also go behind the scenes with the Thalea String Quartet as they prepare for their first performance in over six months! After returning to in-person rehearsals after a months-long break due to COVID-19, the quartet members will speak about their experiences during the pandemic, the seismic changes taking place in the music world, and how their roles as artists and musicians have changed over the past six months. All this, while re-igniting the joy and excitement of performing some of the greatest chamber music ever composed. The quartet is on a virtual tour with Debut Atlantic. The concert is released Saturday November 14 at 7:30 pm via Musique Royale Facebook and YouTube channels, remaining online for 24 hours.


String Quartet No. 4 in D major, op. 20 - Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

  • Allegro di molto
  • Un poco Adagio affettuoso
  • Menuetto. Allegretto alla zingarese
  • Presto scherzando

Sivunittinni (2015) - Tanya Tagaq* (b. 1975)

Five Folksongs in Counterpoint - Florence Price (1887-1953)

  • Calvary
  • Clementine
  • Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes
  • Shortnin’ Bread
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

About the Thalea String Quartet

The Thalea String Quartet is dedicated to bringing timeless music to audiences from all walks of life. From living rooms to concert stages around the world, the Thalea String Quartet aims to connect with audiences on a musical, emotional, and personal level, from first-time listeners to string quartet aficionados. They are devoted to building a new and diverse audience for chamber music through innovative programming and community engagement.

Formed in 2014 at the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in Courmayeur, Italy, the Thalea String Quartet has been praised for their “vibrant performance” and “sincere expressivity” (SF Classical Voice). The quartet has performed recitals across Europe, China, the United States, and Canada, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center, Massey Hall, and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. They were recently named the Doctoral Fellowship String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, and have held fellowship positions at the University of Texas at Austin under the Miró Quartet, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. They currently serve as Associated Artists at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo, Belgium.

The Thalea String Quartet were top prize winners at both the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the 2018 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition, and were named the Ernst Stiefel Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts for the 2019/20 season.

The Thalea String Quartet prides itself on the diversity of its collaborations. They have shared the stage with members of the St. Lawrence, Emerson, Alban Berg, and Borromeo quartets, and have performed alongside Lawrence Power, Gilbert Kalish, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. Committed to collaborating with artists of all backgrounds, the Thalea String Quartet has collaborated with San Francisco-based dance theatre company the Joe Goode Performance Group, premiered a new work by Detroit-based spoken word artist Mohogany Jones, and appeared with acclaimed Canadian band BADBADNOTGOOD at the iconic Massey Hall.

The members of the Thalea String Quartet are dedicated educators and bring their commitment to teaching and community engagement to their frequent educational and community performances. They have performed educational concerts to students of all ages and regularly perform at care facilities and schools across the United States.

Christopher Whitley (violin) is originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Kumiko Sakamoto (violin) is from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada; Luis Bellorín (viola) is from Naperville, Illinois, and Titilayo Ayangade (cello) is from Cincinnati, Ohio. Christopher performs on the 1700 “Taft” Stradivari, generously on loan by the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.

The Thalea String Quartet is a fiscally-sponsored affiliate of InterMusic SF, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to small-ensemble music in the San Francisco Bay Area. The quartet is represented in North America by Lisa Sapinkopf Artists.