Composed of violinists Reuben Kebede and Tiani Butts, violist Aimée McAnulty, and cellist Pedro Sánchez, the Ivalas Quartet has been changing the face of classical music since its inception at the University of Michigan in 2017. Dedicated to the celebration of BIPOC voices, Ivalas seeks to enhance the classical music world by consistently spotlighting past and present BIPOC composers such as Jessie Montgomery, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Eleanor Alberga.
The Ivalas Quartet had the pleasure of performing George Walker’s Lyric for Strings at Carnegie Hall in January of 2020. Later that year, they worked in collaboration with Walker’s son to program his String Quartet No. 1 with Friends of Chamber Music Denver and the Colorado Music Festival. In 2021, they created the first recording of Carlos Simon’s Warmth From Other Suns for string quartet under Lara Downes’ digital label Rising Sun Music.
Currently, The Ivalas Quartet is the Graduate Resident String Quartet at The Juilliard School in New York City, where they study under the Juilliard String Quartet. They were previously in residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder under the mentorship of the Takács Quartet.
The Ivalas Quartet has been featured on various concert series, including Community Concerts at Second in Baltimore, Friends of Chamber Music Denver, Detroit’s WRCJ Classical Brunch, the inaugural Detroit Music Weekend, the Davidson College Concert Series in North Carolina, the Crested Butte Music Festival, the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, the Great Lakes Center for the Arts, the Blue Sage Center for the Arts, and CU Presents concert series where the quartet performed alongside the Takács Quartet in 2020 and 2022. Ivalas won the first prize at the 2019 WDAV Young Chamber Musicians Competition in Davidson, NC, as well as the grand prize at the 2022 Coltman Chamber Music Competition in Austin, TX.
The quartet also keeps a busy calendar in the summer, performing in past seasons at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Colorado Music Festival, Music In the Vineyards, Madeline Island Chamber Music, and the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival. This summer Ivalas is excited to return to the University of Michigan in a mentorship role, coaching student groups at Center Stage Strings.
Ivalas was named Caramoor’s 2022-23 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence and has been presenting multiple concerts at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. In the fall of 2022, Ivalas appeared at the Austin Chamber Music Center, Newport Classical in Rhode Island, CU Presents Takács Series, Schneider Concerts in NY, and the MacPhail Center for Music in MN. In May of 2023, they presented their first full program at Carnegie Hall, titled First Light.
The members of the Ivalas Quartet have a shared dedication to their roles as educators. Through the Sphinx Organization, Ivalas has presented educational programming in the Metro Detroit area, with an emphasis on community engagement in schools with Black and Latinx communities. In Colorado, they developed a partnership with El Sistema Colorado and were a part of the Aspen Music Festival Musical Connections program. In their new home of New York City, the quartet is enjoying working with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center on their Chamber Music Beginnings program.
The Ivalas Quartet has nurtured students from the early stages of their musical journey to the collegiate level, with coaching experience including residencies at the University of Northern Iowa, the University of Central Arkansas, Madeline Island Chamber Music, and the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis. In New York City, they coach student groups at The Juilliard School.