Madeline Island Chamber Music Emerging Artists Quartet-in-Residence: Ivalas Quartet

MacPhail Center for Music will host the Ivalas Quartet at MacPhail Minneapolis, October 23-30, as part of the Madeline Island Chamber Music Emerging Artists Quartet-in-Residence.

This will be a special week of performances, lectures, and demonstrations at several of our partnership schools (visiting with pre-school, elementary, and high school students), along with lectures/demonstrations, and coaching at MacPhail Minneapolis with students and community guests.

The week culminates with a Saturday evening concert (open to the community) in Antonello Hall entitled “First Light”. This is a free performance, but be sure to rsvp to save your seat.

Composed of violinists Reuben Kebede and Tiani Butts, violist Aimée McAnulty and cellist Pedro Sánchez, the Ivalas Quartet has been changing the face of classical music since their inception at the University of Michigan in 2017. Dedicated to the celebration of BIPOC voices, Ivalas seeks to disrupt the classical music world by continuously spotlighting BIPOC composers such as Jessie Montgomery, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Eleanor Alberga.

We put our minds and hearts at work in every rehearsal because we trust in the power of music to create a positive change in our community.

Ivalas Quartet

The Ivalas Quartet has been named Juilliard‘s graduate resident string quartet for 2022-23. As Lisa Arnhold Fellows at Juilliard, the members of the Ivalas Quartet will perform an annual New York recital, which takes place at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2023; coach regularly with the Juilliard String Quartet (JSQ); and participate in the annual Juilliard String Quartet Seminar. They will also assist the JSQ with its ensemble and chamber music instruction, coach other student ensembles, and assist in the freshman-year String Quartet Survey class. Juilliard quartet residencies are for two years. Upon successful completion of the residency, quartet members are awarded Artist Diplomas in String Quartet Studies at Juilliard.

The Ivalas Quartet had the pleasure of performing George Walker’s Lyric for Strings at Carnegie Hall in January of 2020. Later that year, they worked in collaboration with Walker’s son to program his String Quartet No. 1 with Friends of Chamber Music Denver and the Colorado Music Festival. In 2021, they created the first recording of Carlos Simon’s Warmth From Other Suns for string quartet under Lara Downes’ digital label Rising Sun Music. 

The Ivalas Quartet spent 2019-2022 in residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder under the mentorship of the Takács Quartet. During the summer seasons, Ivalas has worked with the Ying Quartet at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in 2018 and the Pacifica Quartet, American Quartet, and Escher Quartet at the Aspen Music Festival in 2019. Ivalas has also spent the past 3 summers at the Great Lakes Music Festival working with the Emerson Quartet and had the opportunity to perform Mendelssohn’s String Quintet No. 2 in concert with Eugene Drucker in 2019. The quartet has additionally been coached by the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Calidore String Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Peter Oundjian, Paul Katz, Ayano Ninomiya, Masumi Rostad, Kirsten Docter, Jeffrey Zeigler, Danielle Belen, Richard Aaron, Kathryn Votapek, and Mikhail Kopelman, and worked with composers Samuel Adler, Carlos Simon, and Missy Mazzoli.

Ivalas has performed in various concert series, including Detroit’s WRCJ Classical Brunch, the inaugural Detroit Music Weekend, the Crested Butte Music Festival, the Great Lakes Center for the Arts, and CU Presents concert series, where the quartet performed alongside the Takacs Quartet in 2020. Winners of the 2019 WDAV Young Artist Chamber Music Competition in Davidson, North Carolina, the Ivalas Quartet returned to perform in the Davidson College concert series in February of 2022. They also received the grand prize at the 2022 Coltman Music Competition in Austin, TX. In the spring of 2022, Ivalas had the opportunity to perform in Community Concerts at Second in Baltimore, MD. Their 2022 summer season includes residencies at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, Madeline Island Chamber Music, and Music in the Vineyards in Napa Valley, CA.

The members of the Ivalas Quartet have a shared dedication to their roles as educators. Through the Sphinx Organization, Ivalas has presented educational programming in the Metro Detroit area, with an emphasis on community engagement in schools with Black and Latinx communities. In Colorado, they have developed a partnership with El Sistema Colorado and have been a part of the Aspen Music Festival Musical Connections program. The quartet has also been in residence at the University of Northern Iowa in early 2020, and more recently at the University of Central Arkansas in the fall of 2021.

Meet Ivalas

Violinist Reuben Kebede has been heard in recital across the U.S., Europe, and China. He received an Artist Diploma in string quartet performance from CU Boulder under the tutelage of Edward Dusinberre and the members of the Takács Quartet. Previously, he studied with Danielle Belen at the University of Michigan, where he served as concertmaster of both university orchestras, and with Sarah Plum at Drake University. 

Violinist Tiani Butts is a passionate solo and chamber musician who strives to use the arts to encourage and inspire young students from all backgrounds. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and a dual master’s degree in violin performance and chamber music from the University of Michigan.

Argentine-American violist Aimée McAnulty was born and raised in Southern California. She joined Ivalas in 2019 after graduating from Yizhak Schotten’s studio at the University of Michigan. She earned her Artist Diploma in String Quartet at the University of Colorado—Boulder, studying with the Takács Quartet and violists Erika Eckert and Richard O’Neill. 

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Pedro Sánchez attended the Emil Friedman Conservatory and School and was trained through El Sistema. In the United States, he studied at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Eastman School of Music, the University of Michigan, and the University of Colorado—Boulder. He has studied with Cesar Noguera, Crispin Campbell, Alan Harris, Richard Aaron, Anthony Elliott, and András Fejér of the Takács Quartet.

A special thank you…

Ivalas would like to extend a special thank you to the following organizations and individuals for their generous support of the quartet’s endeavors through travel funding and scholarships: The Takács Society, The University of Colorado – Boulder, The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Center Stage Strings, the Sphinx Organization, EXCEL, the Mandell Collection of Southern California, Maurice Binkow and Freyja Harris at the SMTD Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

About the Madeline Island Chamber Music

Fellowship String Quartet Program

The Fellowship String Quartet Program provides intensive study and performance of string chamber music repertoire.  Sixteen students will be accepted for the five-week Fellowship String Quartet Program and will study alongside the thirty-two students accepted into the three-week Chamber Music for Strings program.  The fourth and fifth weeks are for the fellowship students alone and include specialized curriculum studying with the American String Quartet in week four, and studying and performing with violist Masumi Rostad and cellist Andres Diaz in week five. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in community engagement activities, including performance and public speaking.  Daily optional extra-curricular activities include canoe trips, outdoor sports, game nights, movie nights, and exploration of Madeline Island culture.

The Ivalas Quartet’s Emerging Artists Quartet-in-Residence experience is supported by Bob and Carolyn Nelson.

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