Beethoven Festival Welcomes the Dali Quartet

For the past decade, the Dali' Quartet has shown a unique side of chamber music.
Not only does it perform works of the masters, including Beethoven, Bach and Mozart, but also works from South American and other Latino composers including Astor Piazzola, Alberto Ginastera and Heitor Villa-Lobos.

On Sunday, July 20, the Park City Beethoven Festival will present the Dali' Quartet in a gala salon concert at Temple Har Shalom, at 3 p.m.

The concert will include a three-course meal and dessert buffet. Tickets are a minimum donation of $75. They can be reserved by emailing or calling 435-649-5309.

The Park Record spoke with the Dali' Quartet — violist Adriana Linares, violinists Carlos Rubio and Simón Gollo and cellist Jesus Morales — during a rehearsal at the home of Leslie and Russell Harlow, Beethoven Festival founders.

Adriana Linares

Adriana Linares, along with Carlos Rubio, formed the Dali' Quartet in Philadelphia in 2004.

The idea was for her was to continue performing chamber music after she received a masters degree from Temple University.

"Carlos and I used to perform together in another quartet and we had a fantastic idea of having a full Latino quartet," Linares said. "We combine classical music with South American music by classically trained Latin composers. We are continuing to do what we love."

For the violist, chamber music is a unique way for musicians to find their individual voices.

"You still work in a collaborative team, but when it comes to expressing your ideas, there is an independency that you don't get when you are in a full orchestra," she said. "I also love the fact that we are doing something new. We're bringing new repertoire to new audiences."

Another quartet goal is education.

"All of us are committed to teaching and bringing diversity into our programming," Linares said. "Our outreach programs have been the most important missions of the quartet. We do a lot of community engagements and those are exciting for me because we can connect with audiences, especially young audiences."

That's why she's excited to be in Park City for the Beethoven Festival, according to Linares.

"We are scheduled to do outdoor concerts and salon concerts and that's what chamber music is all about," she said.

Linares started musical journey as a violinist, but switched to viola when she was 14.

"I loved the low tone and richness of the cello, but it was too late for me to switch to the cello, so I thought the viola would be perfect for me," she said. "It combines the two registers of the violin and cello.

"I also saw playing the viola as an opportunity to perform more," she said. "There are more violas needed than violins."

Carlos Rubio

After forming the Dali' Quartet with Linares, second violinist Carlos Rubio said the group was more like a side project.

"We would get together a few times a year, which was determined by how many concerts we were supposed to do," Rubio explained. "After we finished the concerts, we would all go back to our regular jobs."

the time cellist Jesus Morales joined the group in 2008, people started to take notice of the quartet, which expanded the concert schedule.

"We play between 15 to 20 concerts every year, not only in the Philadelphia area, where we're from, but also at different residencies from other chamber societies," he said.

One thing that Rubio enjoys about his group is that there are very few professional Latino quartets in the United States.

"That's a plus for us, because we can do outreach programs in both English and Spanish," he said. "We also have our own rehearsal space and we've hosted a summer camp since 2004."

Rubio and Linares have been the anchors of the quartet, and they have seen different first violinists and cellists pass through the doors, and that is all part of the group's progression.

"We've been lucky to have some great people in the group from the very beginning," he said. "We have always focused on going in an upward direction. We are always looking to get to the next step."

That's a good thing because the quartet plays together all the time.

"It's like a marriage between four people and we sometimes spend more time with each other than with our families," Rubio said. "It's good that we get along very well."

Jesus Morales

The Dali' Quartet may not have been able to perform in the Beethoven Festival if it wasn't for cellist Jesus Morales.

Morales lived in Utah when his wife, Dara, was in the Utah Symphony, and that's how he met Leslie and Russell Harlow, who were also playing in the symphony.

"They invited us to work with them and perform in the festival in the past and we actually did a few recordings together," Morales said. "I came back in 2008, and they kept inviting me to return. Unfortunately, I had schedule conflicts that I couldn't change, so it's a pleasure to be back."

For Morales, who joined the Dali' Quartet six years ago, it was an easy transition.

"The previous cellist and I basically traded jobs," Morales said with a grin. "As I joined the Dali' Quartet, he took my previous position with the Puerto Rico Symphony."

Morales' father used one of his son's idols — Pablo Casals, a Spanish Catan cellist — to get him to play.

"In Puerto Rico, Casals is very popular," Morales said. "He started the Puerto Rico Symphony and the conservatory.

"My father said, 'Why don't you play cello like Casals?' And I though that was a great idea," Morales said with another grin.

Since being in the quartet, Morales has seen a drastic growth in his musicality.

"You need to be flexible with everything, not just timing," he said. "Your technique has to improve to imitate what the violins and violas do. So you are essentially playing three different roles at all times. It has been a challenge, but a very exciting one."

The cellist said it is a significant year for the Dali' Quartet to perform at this year's Beethoven Festival.

"First, it's the 30th anniversary of the festival," he said. "And this is the first year they invited a pre-formed quartet. So it's a special occasion to be here."

Simón Gollo

First violinist Simón Gollo joined the Dali' Quartet in 2012 when he moved to Philadelphia from Venezuela.

He knew about the quartet Linares because he and she played together in a festival and they have some mutual friends.

"When Adriana called me, I was really happy, because I felt joining the quartet would be a great opportunity to improve as a musician," Gollo said. "I think a quartet is a great place not to just improve technically, but musically. You have to think much more about each detail in the music."

Gollo feels a responsibility, as do all the members of the quartet, to represent his heritage in a respectful and dignified way.

"This is an opportunity to show aspects of the real Latino community," he said. "A lot of people have an image of what Latinos are, but to show that we can play classical music on classical instruments and to show we can be organized shows different side of who we are.

"Like the Dali' Quartet, the Latin community is very rich because we are a mixture of a lot of things and we have the best of each culture," Gollo said. "We also show members in our own communities that they can achieve their goals and when we play music, the music level is very difficult and that's important to show the children in our community."

Scott Iwasaki, The Park Record
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