JESSIE MONTGOMERY violin
KARLA DONEHEW-PEREZ violin
PAUL LARAIA viola
KARLOS RODRIGUEZ cello
Hailed by the New York Times at the 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.
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 Alderburgh 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 US tours in Virginia, Minnesota, Hawaii and California. Catalyst’s New York City presence has included concerts on the Lincoln Center’s Great Performer’s series, the Café Series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at New York’s City Center, at Columbia University’s Miller Theater, for Schneider Concerts at the New School and six concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, with whom they recently recorded an album.
Their other recordings include 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 and Strum, featuring string works by CQ violinist and composer Jessie Montgomery. 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.
Founded by the Sphinx organizations, the Catalyst Quartet combines a serious commitment to Diversity and education with a passion for contemporary works. In October 2016 the quartet completed the 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.