Want to hear Radiohead played on a Stradivarius?

Sybarite5. Photo by Braun & Tomlinson.

The Sybarite5 will bring their eclectic repertoire, which features works by Dvo™ák,  Mozart, Astor Piazolla and Radiohead,
to the Coolidge Auditorium Saturday night, December 18th. The group will be performing on Stradivarius instruments from the Music Division’s priceless collection. Advanced tickets are no longer available, but patrons are encouraged to try for stand-by tickets starting at 6:30 pm.

Solomon HaileSelassie, of the Music Division’s Concert Office, asked a few questions of double bass player Louis Levitt.

What does it feel like to play on a piece of history?

It’s going to be incredible to play music on these Strads.

What new projects are you working on?

This has been under wraps until now but… our new CD Disturb The Silence is officially being released on the evening of the 18th, [the night we’re performing at the Library of Congress]!

Our other news is that we’re commissioning composer Dan Visconti to write a concerto for string quintet and orchestra for 2012. We’re very excited about this, not only because Dan’s music is incredible and has become a staple of our performances, but also because it will introduce a new type of concerto into the orchestral repertoire.

What do you listen to when you are not working?

Louis: Neil Young,  Radiohead,  Mahler
Laura Metcalf, cello: Britney Spears and Ravel
Angela Pickett, viola: Portishead and Debussy
Sarah Whitney, violin: Stephane Grappelli and Lady Gaga
Sami Merdinian, violin: advice from the wise voices in his head (he’s lost his mind…English is his third language)

What is your favorite piece to play?

Angela: Radiohead,  “Paranoid Android”
Laura: Radiohead,  “Motion Picture Soundtrack”
Sami: Astor Piazolla,  “Muerte del Angel”
Sarah: Dan Visconti,  “Black Bend”
Louis: I like them all but “packt like sardines in a crushd tin box” is very special to me because its our first Radiohead piece from Paul Kim.

What your musical interests outside the SYBARITE5?

Sarah:  electric violin, jazz,
Sami: tango, Armenian folk music
Louis: nothing, Syb5 is my life
Angie: no comment
Laura: being a cello rockstar

What would you like me to ask you about?

Our new cd that’s coming out, and our experience at the Aspen Music Festival.

What do you say to people who don’t like music created in the last 50 years?

We don’t decide what to play based on when it was written, we decide what to play based on whether or not it kicks ass, and if we would want to hear the music played ourselves.

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