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Havana's Crisantemi Quartet Plays 'Classical Music With Cuban Spirit'

The Crisantemi Quartet of Havana are on their first trip to the United States as a group.
Kari Anderson
The Crisantemi Quartet of Havana are on their first trip to the United States as a group.

The members of Havana's Crisantemi Quartet range between 19 and 22 years old, but the music they play has a much longer history. Trained at the Lyceum Mozartiano de la Habana, and the Havana Arts College, the group pairs traditional classical compositions with high-energy renditions of Cuban folk songs.

"The Quartet was created to play classical music, but it's impossible not to play Cuban music," says violinist Jose Reyes.

All members of the ensemble talk about their excitement of sharing music across cultures.

"Music is the language," says violinist Danielle Gonzalez.

Plans are in the works with the Vermont Mozart Festival to create a festival celebrating Mozart's music in Havana, performing all of Mozart's String Quartets across the city.

While the members are still in school, the group collectively opted to work without a teacher, saying that they have enough ears to decide what is good and what isn't. 

Their passion for classical music comes down to listening, and a "human feeling." Reyes says, "It's not just for a small group, I think. Classical music can represent you. It's the same feeling, the same human feeling, all the time."

The Cristantemi Quartet performs at various events with the Vermont Mozart Festival, and has a solo performance of their Cuban-classical music at Hotel Vermont on August 1, 2017 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

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