Classical Coffeehouse series to feature Cantus, Escher Quartet and Sybarite5

STATE COLLEGE–People curious to hear music by nationally acclaimed chamber music ensembles that mingle contemporary and classical sounds can sample performances by three groups during the sixth season of Classical Coffeehouse.

The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State partners with the Penn State Alumni Association and other groups to present the series, which is free for University Park students and takes place at 8 p.m. Sept. 24, Oct. 29 and Feb. 12 in Hintz Family Alumni Center’s Robb Hall.

Designed for Penn State students but open to community members, Classical Coffeehouse aims to expand the audience for traditional and contemporary music by offering a relaxed atmosphere with discussion and socializing among audience members and artists.

Classical Coffeehouse partners include Blue & White Society, PSU Music Service Club and Penn State Coffee Club. Each event is free for University Park students. A $10 donation is suggested for each non-student. Donations help to sustain the series.

Complimentary beverages and snacks are served. Seating is limited, but standing room is available when seating is full. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Learn more about the Center for the Performing Arts 2018-19 season at https://cpa.psu.edu.

This year’s Classical Coffee house line up is as follows:

CANTUS, SEPT. 24

Hailed as “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States,” the Minneapolis-based octet is acknowledged around the world for its programmatic versatility, artistic excellence and charisma. The program will feature selections from the group’s program “Alone Together” plus excerpts of “You,” a Center for the Performing Arts co-commissioned piece by composer Libby Larsen that will have its world premiere the following evening at Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. Larsen is scheduled to speak about her work at the coffeehouse.

ESCHER STRING QUARTET, OCT. 29

The New York City quartet’s expressive performances combine unusual textual clarity with a rich, blended sound. The program will include selections from the quartet’s repertoire. San Francisco-born Anthony Cheung, composer of a Center for the Performing Arts co-commissioned work is set to have its world premiere the following night at Schwab Auditorium, will talk about his music.

SYBARITE5, FEB.12

This string quintet, which engages the senses and redefines the rules, has been described as “classical music’s most dynamic new music group” and the “Millennial Kronos.” The quintet specializes in performing music it has commissioned from composers around the world and covers of pieces by Radiohead and Astor Piazzolla. Sybarite5 will perform selections from its program “Outliers,” which will be performed the following evening at Schwab.