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May 5, 2025 at 12:00:00 AM
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Catalyst Quartet with Todd Palmer

7:30 PM at the Sunset Center | Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Catalyst Quartet with Todd Palmer

With a pre-concert talk by at 6:30 PM.

David Bruce Gumboots”(2008)

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Quintet in F-sharp Minor for Clarinet and Strings, op. 10

" the Catalyst is beautiful to watch, like a family in lively conversation at the dinner table" - The New York Times


Karla Donehew Perez, violin

Abi Fayette, violin

Paul Laroia, viola

Karlos Rodriguez, cello

Todd Palmer, clarinet

About The Ensemble

 The Catalyst Quartet, known for “perfect ensemble unity” and “unequaled class of execution” (Lincoln Journal Star),  has toured widely throughout the United States and abroad, including sold-out performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., at Chicago’s Harris Theater, Miami’s New World Center, and Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall in New York. The quartet has been guest soloists with the Cincinnati Symphony, New Haven Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, and has served as principal players and featured ensemble with the Sphinx Organization’s featured ensemble, the Sphinx Virtuosi, on six national tours. They have been invited to perform at important music festivals such as Mainly Mozart in San Diego, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Sitka Music Festival, Juneau Jazz and Classics, Strings Music Festival, and the Grand Canyon Music Festival, where they appear annually. The Catalyst Quartet was ensemble-in-residence at the Vail Dance Festival in 2016 and in the 2021-22 season were in residence with San Francisco Performances where they presented the complete series of works from their Uncovered Project. In 2014, they opened the Festival del Sole in Napa, California with Joshua Bell and participated in England’s Aldeburgh Music Foundation String Quartet Residency with two performances in Jubilee Hall. In 2022 the Catalyst Quartet was named ensemble in residence for the Chamber Music Northwest Festival in Portland and for the Met Museum's LiveArts series in NYC. 

    The Catalyst Quartet combines a serious commitment to diversity and education with a passion for contemporary works. The ensemble has served as principal faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Curtis Institute of Music. The Catalyst Quartet’s ongoing residencies include interactive performance presentations and workshops with Native American student composers at the Grand Canyon Music Festival. Past residencies have included concerts and masterclasses at The University Of Michigan, University Of Washington, Rice University’s Shepard School of Music, Houston’s Society for the Performing Arts, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, The Virginia Arts Festival, and Pennsylvania State University, and internationally at the In Harmony Project in England, The University of South Africa, and The Teatro De Bellas Artes in Cali, Colombia. The ensemble’s residency in Havana, Cuba for the Cuban American Youth Orchestra in January 2019, was the first by an American string quartet since the revolution.

   The Catalyst Quartet members hold degrees from The Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School, and New England Conservatory. The Catalyst Quartet proudly endorses Pirastro strings. 

TODD PALMER (clarinet) has appeared around the world as soloist, recitalist, chamber music collaborator, educator, arranger, and presenter. A three-time Grammy nominated artist, he was a winner of the Young Concert Artist International Auditions and grand prize winner in the Ima Hogg Young Artist Auditions. He has made solo appearances with the Atlanta, Houston, and BBC Scotland orchestras, and the St. Paul, Cincinnati, Montréal, and Metamorphosen chamber orchestras. His recital performances include Weill Hall and 92nd Street Y in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. He has collaborated with some of the world’s finest string ensembles, such as the St. Lawrence, Brentano, Borromeo and Pacifica quartets, as well as renowned sopranos Kathleen Battle, Renée Fleming, Elizabeth Futral, Heidi Grant Murphy and Dawn Upshaw. Palmer has championed Osvaldo Golijov’sklezmer clarinet quintet The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind; premiered David Bruce’s Gumboots at Carnegie Hall with the St. Lawrence Quartet, and commissioned Ricky Ian Gordon’s theatre work, Orpheus and Euridice. He was awarded the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship by the Tanglewood Institute. He appeared in Lincoln Center’s revival of South Pacific and was also soloist in Robert Lepage’s staging of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other Fables at BAM, dressed as a Cossack. Palmer has recorded for DG, EMI, Koch, Naxos, and Ghostlight.

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