The summer concert series of the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society continues on July 20 and 21 with the first Vineyard performances ever by the Harlem String Quartet.
In 8 pm concerts Monday at the Old Whaling Church and Tuesday at the Chilmark Community Center, the quartet will perform music by Joachin Turina, Maurice Ravel, Wynton Marsalis, and Billy Strayhorn.
Violinists Ilmar Gavilan and Melissa White, violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez, and cellist Desmond Neysmith made their debut together as the Harlem Quartet in the fall of 2006, performing at Carnegie Hall in New York and winning top honors in the annual Sphinx Competition.
Mr. Gavilan is currently concertmaster of the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and is on the faculty at the Juilliard School. Ms. White has appeared as soloist with many of the nation's leading orchestras including the Boston Pops and the symphonies of Cleveland, Atlanta, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Colorado, New Jersey, Cincinnati, and San Antonio.
Mr. Hernandez, a native of Canada, is a first-prize winner at the National Canadian Music Competition, the Sillery Music Competition, and the Clermont-Pepin Music Competition. Mr. Neysmith has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic and symphony orchestras in Atlanta, Baltimore, Hartford, Louisiana, and Florida as well as with La Orquesta Sinaloa de las Artes in Culiacan, Mexico, where he currently holds the co-principal chair.
The New York Times has praised the quartet's performances as "exciting" and "commanding," and the Times Herald Record wrote, "Their enjoyment in playing the music with one another communicated directly with the large and responsive audience."
Tickets to this week's concerts are $30, and students are always admitted free.