Sybarite5 ~ Kickstarting the Forward Festival

Sybarite5, that great quintet that specializes in transcriptions is back, and they are currently raising money through Kickstarter for an event called the Forward Festival, which the group is calling “The world’s first portable chamber music festival”. You can find out how to help by watching the clip and clicking on the link below for details.

From their Kickstarter page:

This May, Sybarite5 is on a mission to launch the world’s first portable chamber music festival, The Forward Festival.
The Forward Festival is simple by design but limitless in its scope and reach. For our inaugural week of concerts, we will collaborate with the outstanding musicians of the Sarasota community to perform in venues across the city. The music will be fresh and accessible; the performances vital and surprising. Forward Festival will bring the whole community together to celebrate its inherent cultural richness during this week. We then plan to re-create the Forward Festival in cities and towns across the country and the world.


The first Forward Festival will take place in Sarasota, FL, where the group has deep roots. We have five concerts lined up, featuring world class artists in five different Sarasota venues. We will collaborate with Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert, Sarasota Orchestra’s principal cellist and harpist Abe Feder and Cheryl Losey; Sarasota’s own renowned Chroma Quartet; acclaimed pianist Djordje Nesic; and versatile percussionist George Nickson. The concerts will take place all over Sarasota, from the Symphony Center to alternative art spaces like the HuB. The concerts will include music from Debussy to Radiohead and a world premiere by Andy Akiho.



This is our most ambitious undertaking to date. We are truly creating something from the ground up; something we hope to see flourish for years to come and which will enable us to engage with communities previously unreached by classical or chamber music. But we can’t do it alone. There are huge expenses associated with creating a music festival, and we have already received some wonderful support, but we have a long way to go. The funds we hope to raise through this campaign will go towards the immediate cost of this year’s festival. We need to rent venues, get insurance, pianos, music, cars, video equipment, as well as pay for travel, production costs, video, printing, ticketing, and other expenses…the list goes on and on! But you can help. Plus, your support will also help the larger mission of the Forward Festival: to help its presence evolve across the country and the world, and become something that is recognized as an innovative contribution to the artistic landscape of our time. Please consider being a part of this journey—and help us bring Forward Festival to your own backyard!



Comprised of violinists Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violist Angela Pickett, cellist Laura Metcalf and bassist Louis Levitt, Sybarite5 is the first string quintet ever to win the Concert Artists Guild Competition. The quintet has performed in 26 states, as well as Newfoundland Canada, and is traveling to Japan and Argentina in the coming months. Sybarite5 made its Carnegie Hall debut in Zankel Hall in 2012, and its debut EP Disturb the Silence reached the top ten on the Billboard Charts. The group also recently released an all-Radiohead album on the CAG Record label. Sybarite5 has received awards and accolades including the Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist Award, a Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant, and others.

Click here to donate to Sybarite5’s Kickstarter page for the Forward Festival

Forward Festival (


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