Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State
Five young musicians smile in front of a building.


Sybarite5’s eclectic repertoire and dynamic performance style turns heads throughout the music world. The first string quintet to win the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Sybarite5 is as comfortable performing contemporary music by Radiohead as it is classics by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. From the moment their bows hit the strings, the talented, diverse musicians take audiences on a ride that engages the senses and redefines the rules. “That impassioned playing, those hard-driving rhythms, the blissed-out faces of the mostly young audience,” observes a Washington Post reviewer, add up to “genuine, spontaneous … excitement.” Formed at the Aspen Music Festival, Sybarite5 includes violinists Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violist Angela Pickett, cellist Laura Metcalf, and bassist Louis Levitt. Disturb the Silence, the group’s debut extended-play disc, features music by Radiohead, Astor Piazzolla, and a pair of original works. The 2011 release soared to the top ten on the Billboard charts. Everything in its Right Place, the 2012 follow-up CD, remixes ten Radiohead songs. “Their rock-star status … is well deserved,” writes a Sarasota Herald Tribune reviewer. “Their classically honed technique mixed with grit and all-out passionate attack transfixes the audience.” 

Artist website: Sybarite5

1Project Events

coolBlue Concert and Conversation

3 p.m. Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Innovation Park at Penn State
Tech Center Lobby

The public is invited to hear Sybarite5 perform a selection of its repertoire ranging from works by Radiohead to Mozart. The one-hour session also includes conversation with the musicians.

Music 005 Class Visit

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Not open to the public

Two Sybarite5 musicians speak to non-music majors contextually about their work and the nature of how they build their programs (selection and arrangement of works, goals, and themes).

On the Challenge of Presenting Classical Music to the Millennials

3 p.m. Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Penn State Altoona
Misciagna Family Center Titelman Study

The public is invited to listen to a forum and mini performance featuring the musicians of Sybarite5 and Penn State Altoona faculty members.

An Evening with Sybarite5

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Penn State Altoona
Edith Davis Eve Chapel

Sybarite5 performs a concert of works from its repertoire, which includes classics by composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and contemporary works by the likes of British rock band Radiohead.

Free tickets, required for the evening concert, are available at the Misciagna Box Office, Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or at the door. Free parking is available after 3 p.m. in the Misciagna lot. For more information, phone the box office at 814-949-5452.

State College Area School District ArtSmart Visit

Thursday, January 21, 2016
Not open to the public

Sybarite5 musicians meet with ArtSmart students to discuss utilizing art as a gateway for advocacy and social change. Sybarite5 also performs excerpts of its repertoire.

Entrepreneurial Mindset Class Visit

2:30 p.m. Thursday, January 21, 2016
11 Life Sciences Building

The public is welcome to observe as members of Sybarite5 translate their professional and creative accomplishments through the lens of entrepreneurship for students in a Penn State Management 215 Class. The 75-minute talk includes topics such as decision-making, assessing affordable loss, balancing commitments, and differences for artists and entrepreneurs in business and science/technology/engineering/math fields.

Classical Coffeehouse

Presented in partnership with the Blue & White Society and the Penn State Alumni Association

8 p.m. Thursday, January 21, 2016
Hintz Family Alumni Center’s Robb Hall

Free and open to the public

Support provided by Penn State Council of LionHearts

This string quintet with the vibe of a rock band performs classical music from the eighteenth century, contemporary tunes by Radiohead, and a whole lot more. The group performs selections from its high-energy repertoire and interacts with audience members. Enjoy complimentary refreshments and receive a Classical Coffeehouse mug, while supply lasts.

Each Penn State student in attendance receives—at the end of the coffeehouse—a voucher for a serving of Berkey Creamery ice cream.

Entrepreneurship and the Arts Lunch

Noon Friday, January 22, 2016
New Leaf Initiative
243 S. Allen St., Suite 337, State College

The public is invited to take part in a networking lunch, part of the Salad Club Friday series, featuring a facilitated conversation with members of Sybarite5. The one-hour discussion, targeted at entrepreneurs and young professionals, delves into nuances of multi-tiered careers and professional capacities for entrepreneurship and innovation. Each attendee is encouraged to bring his or her favorite salad ingredient.

New Leaf Initiative is home to mission-driven entrepreneurs, passionate community organizers, engaged businesses, motivated students, determined local government, and many more who are seeking to work better, together.

Penn State School of Music Common Hour/Freshman Experience

2:30 p.m. Friday, January 22, 2016
110 Music Building I

The public is invited to observe as members of Sybarite5 talk with first-year students about experiences and possibilities in professional music. Classical Music Project student ambassador leaders facilitate the one-hour conversation. School of Music faculty and advisers will attend.

Program to be announced

7:30 p.m. Friday, January 22, 2016
Schwab Auditorium

The New York City quintet’s program will be announced from the stage.


Buy Tickets

Adult $42  |  University Park Student $15  |  18 and Younger $32

Complimentary round-trip shuttle service is provided between the Eisenhower Parking Deck and Schwab. Board the shuttle in the area between the parking deck and the Eisenhower Auditorium rear loading dock. The first shuttle leaves Eisenhower at 6:05 p.m., followed by others every twenty minutes until 7:05 p.m. After the concert, the shuttle makes as many trips as necessary to return riders to Eisenhower.


Tom and Mary Ellen Litzinger

media sponsor


Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation

This engagement of SYBARITE5 is funded through the Mid Atlantic Tours program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Artistic Viewpoints

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring members of Sybarite5, is offered in Schwab one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders.

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