“Their rock star status…is well deserved. Their classically honed technique mixed with grit and all out passionate attack transfixes the audience…” -Sarasota Herald Tribune

SYBARITE5 always moves forward, even when the members look back to their classical roots. Inspired by the suites of J.S. Bach, Look Back / Move Forward assembles new suites for today. The centerpiece is a suite pulsing with energy and life commissioned by SYBARITE5 from six composers, each asked to contribute one movement. The Arizona Daily Star declared that SYBARITE5 audiences should “expect an experience that will satisfy your inner rock star…” From the moment their bows hit the strings, this quintet of talented, diverse musicians takes the audience on an exciting ride that engages the senses and redefines the rules.


Sami Merdinian, violin
Sarah Whitney, violin
Angela Pickett, viola
Laura Metcalf, cello
Louis Levitt, bass

From Mozart to Radiohead, SYBARITE5’s eclectic repertoire and dynamic performance style is turning heads throughout the music world: “…that impassioned playing, those hard-driving rhythms, the blissed-out faces of the mostly young audience…Genuine, spontaneous…excitement” (The Washington Post).  The Quintet’s debut EP disc Disturb the Silence, featuring music by Radiohead and Piazzolla, plus two original works written for SYBARITE5, was released in spring 2011 and quickly reached the top ten on the Billboard charts.  The group’s follow-up CD, Everything in its Right Place, is a continuation of the Radiohead Remixed Project and was released in November 2012 on the CAG Records label.

In spring 2015, the Quintet looks forward to the world premiere of the very first concerto for string quintet and orchestra—entitled BEATBOX—written by the acclaimed American composer Dan Visconti.  The commissioning orchestras, who will present these premiere performances, include the South Carolina Philharmonic, Midland Symphony of Michigan and the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra.

Formed at the Aspen Music Festival, SYBARITE5 was the first string quintet admitted to the Aspen Advanced String Quartet Studies program, where the group worked with Earl Carlyss of the Juilliard Quartet, bassist Edgar Meyer and the Cavani, American and Ying Quartets. From 2009-2013, the ensemble continued its tenure at the Aspen Music Festival in a new capacity as the AMFS Alumni Ensemble.


Concert length is estimated to be 1.5 hours with one intermission.

Food orders will be taken until 6:30pm. Drinks will be served before, during intermission, and after the performance but not during.

LOOK BACK / MOVE FORWARD (world premiere)

     Mohammed Fairouz: Muqudammah
     Kenji Bunch: Allemande pour Tout le Monde
     Daniel Roumain: Kompa For Toussaint
     Eric Byers: Sarabande
     Michi Wiancko: Blue Bourrée
     Lev Zhurbin: Giguely

Other pieces to be announced from the stage. 

Program notes for Look Back / Move Forward

Kenji Bunch, Allemande pour Tout le Monde
Allemande pour Tout le Allemande celebrates the international history of this dance that has long transcended its nationalistic title. The piece combines rhythmic elements of the traditional German-inspired, French dance allemande, the vocabulary of country fiddling (“allemand” is a term in square dancing and sometimes a genre of fiddle tunes), and eventually, a rhythmic groove from the influential German electronic dance band Kraftwerk. All of these components are cheerfully blended in this short work to honor the continuum of the dance music tradition.

Daniel Roumain, Kompa For Toussaint
Kompa For Toussaint is named for the great Haitian military leader, Toussaint L’ Ouverture, who was largely responsible for the success of the various slave rebellions on the island against fierce, French military forces. The music here is dance-like and march-like, and in some ways, reflects the conflict and counterpoint of any insurrection or uprising. In the end, the music becomes an elegy, a gentle set of waves of sound in honor of a man who gave freedom and dignity to so many of my Haitian brothers and sisters.

Eric Byers, Sarabande
To me the Sarabande of Bach’s Fifth Suite is the most profound. The movement is soulful and intimate. Yet there is also something cold and infinite, like the stars of a constellation whose spare framework only suggests a more elaborate form expanding through boundless space.

Michi Wiancko, Blue Bourrée
Blue Bourrée is a tribute to Bach’s first cello suite, in which I peek into the laced-up world of baroque dance music and then attempt to unravel it a bit from the inside. Prince fans might appreciate the great restraint I’ve shown in not naming it Raspberry Bourrée.

Lev Zhurbin, Giguely
“Gi-Gue-Ly” was inspired by the “Zhiguli”, our family car during the 1980s in my native Moscow. I spent much of the time in our car listening to cassettes of everything from Mozart violin concerti to “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and often making up my own tunes about Moscow snow, streetlamps, and more.  This dance is dedicated to those beautiful childhood days.


Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 7pm
Bedlam Lowertown





Expect an experience that will satisfy your inner rock star and your secret Mozart.

Arizona Daily Star

If you're looking for a worthy successor to the Kronos Quartet as a small string ensemble pushing the envelope of concert music, count this exciting gang of five as one excellent candidate.

Blogcritics Magazine

Their rock star status...is well deserved. Their classically honed technique mixed with grit and all our passionate attack transfixes the audience...

Sarasota Herald Tribune