Music for Food Concert Series

In the Fall 2017, we received a grant from the Tarisio Trust to inaugurate a Music for Food concert series in the Metro-DC area to benefit local food pantries and raise awareness of the invisible crisis of hunger. We have been grateful for all our collaborating partners, supporters, and the local pantries for the willingness to share this idea with us!


Collaborating artists: Kim Kashkashian, Left Bank Quartet (David Salnes, Sally McLain, Katherine Murdock, Eric Kutz), Rita Sloan, Sarah Frisof, Kenneth Slowik

Local Pantries: FISH of Laurel, Elizabeth House
University of Maryland Campus Pantry



Omer Quartet's Music for Food concert fights hunger with music

The four students who make up the Omer Quartet brought the Music for Food initiative to The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on Feb. 22, and raised more than $500 for the University of Maryland Campus Pantry. [READ MORE]


One of the phenomenon’s of music is the access it gives to connect people, both familiar and new to one another. One of our favorite ways to experience this is to play for listeners of all ages where they are. The concert hall is a hallowed tradition of our craft but it’s not always where people go to listen for a variety of reasons. Through relationships with presenters, teachers, and musicians we’ve been able to play in libraries, schools, community centers, senior living centers, rehabilitation facilities, and prisons. We prepare a 60 minute experience tailored to the venue and expected audience where we can interact in a more casual and friendly environment. For the most part we want these programs to offer a sampling of some of our seasons repertoire, with some anecdotal context into what we like about it and find interesting or curious. Along the way we try to offer as many chances to have dialogue with whoever is present. Sometimes those discussions are about the music, about life as a quartet, or even about someone in the audience’s experience of the pieces we played or there own musical background. The memories of those events are ones we carry with us to the stage and we hope those audiences might remember them too.



Exploring new possibilities with accordionist Hanzhi Wang

Audiences are probably familiar with quartets expanding their numbers by performing with a pianist, cellist, violist or even clarinetist. But an ensemble made up of a string quartet and accordion is something unique and seldom experienced. We met Hanzhi at the YCA awards ceremony when we were all invited to join their roster. We greatly admired her playing and were happy to join her in concerts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall this season. After those two initial concerts we quickly realized how much we enjoyed playing together. The idea started then about how we could continue to uncover the perhaps overlooked yet imaginative and evocative repertoire spanning all musical eras for “accordion” quintet. From Mozart to Dvorak and Piazzola to Daniel Nelson there’s a gamut of composers and styles for this combination of musical voices and we are so excited to offer these works to presenters and audiences.

Hanzhi Wang collab.jpeg


We are ecstatic to join the list of quartets who have served as the Ernst-Steifel Quartet in Residence at the Caramoor Center for the Arts in Katonah NY. This residency entails three week or so long stays at Caramoor where we will perform and engage with local communities through demos, masterclasses, and concerts. In addition we are collaborating with Rob Kapilow on the Mozart k. 465 “dissonance” quartet to present a “What Makes it Great” performance. We will be premiering a new work by composer Gabriella Smith especially written for us, which we are also very excited for. One of the newest experiences of the residency for us will be working with selected schools in the area, specifically their music students over the course of the season. It will be great to have the chance to see the same students multiple times throughout their school year and be able to give input and observe their musical growth.