Classical MusicMusic ReviewsMUST SEEREVIEWSREVIEWS BYTom Williams

Sphinx Virtuosi Concert

 Sphinx Virtuosi with Catalyst Quartetimage009

2014 Tour Program AMERICANA

At the Harris Theater, Chicago

Americana Program:

Coquetteos by Gabriela Lena Frank

Prayers of Rain and Wind by John B Hedges

Allaqi by Marcus Goddard

Banner by Jessie Montgomery

Elevations by Mark O’Connor

Thrilling 45 minute chamber music concert for only $5 per single ticket!

As part of Harris Theater’s Eat To the Beat series of short after work concerts (start time is 5:30 pm) that feature food trucks outside the venue that allows patrons to buy food and drinks that they can eat in the theater while enjoying a concert. What a terrific idea!


On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, I was luck enough to experience on the finest chamber music orchestra, Sphinix Virtuois with Catalyst Quartet as they Tour in  their Americana program.  The young dynamic troupe is a professional chamber orchestra and theonly all-Black and Latino string orchestra in America. This 18 person is a a one month tour is an homage to The Star Spangled Banner as member and composer-in-residence premieres a new work titled Banner as an ode to our beloved anthem. The unique sounds made by strings (violins, viola, cello and bass) were made to emulate a marching band sans the brass. That piece was the high point to the 45 minute concert that also featured works by young American composers. The gospel sounds from John B. Hedges captured the essence of  Black Christian rhythms.

catalyst quartet

What impressed me most by the Sphinx Virtuois  was their vibrant and energetic musicianship that featured their complete skill set. These artists are fantastic talents that have arrived as world class musicians. After witnessing their talent, their artistic innovations, and their commitment to their craft, I can see that the future of classical music is in good hands with these major talents. 

While I don’t cover much chamber music concerts due to my emphasis on theatre and opera, seeing these most engaging artists makes me realize that Ineed cover more chamber music, especially when it comes from Sphinix Virtuosi. They impress all and they introduce youngsters and minorities to the wonders of classical music.

Kudos to the Harris Theatre for their ‘Eat to the Beat’ Series. They have more in that series ; next up is Puerto Rican Arts Alliance  November 7, 2014 at Noon at the Harris Theater.

It was a pleasure to witness the fabulous Sphnix Virtuois, they are special. it is wonderful to see artists at the top of their art!

Here is  a sampler of Sphnix Virtuois:

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams