Jose White String Quartet arrives in U.S. just in time for Jan. 22 Goshen College concert

Jose White String Quartet arrives in U.S. just in time for Jan. 22 Goshen College concert

GOSHEN, Ind. — One of Latin America’s leading quartets will be playing at Goshen College on Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Sauder Concert Hall as part of the 2003-2004 Performing Arts Series, though the concert was nearly replaced with a backup group due to security clearance problems experienced by two members of the quartet.

The Jose White String Quartet of Cuba, having recently won Mexico’s premiere Chamber Music Festival, will perform an eclectic blend of classical and Latin American music. The musicians share a broad musical training, varied performance experience and a very special enthusiasm and dedication to chamber music, both in the standard literature and the relatively unknown works of Latino composers.

Goshen College was contacted on Jan. 13 with the news that the group’s cellist Orlando Espinosa and second violinist Sandra Diaz (Espinosa’s wife), as natives of Cuba, would not be able to enter the United States for a month of performances because of delayed visas that were pending security clearance. Cuba is one of seven nations deemed by the U.S. government to be state sponsors of terrorism. On Jan. 15, after several days of searching for a back-up string quartet, Janette Yoder, director of special events, was contacted with the good news that the two performers received clearance so the show could go on as planned.

With three of the ensemble players having been born in Cuba — the other is Mexican-American — the members decided to pay tribute to Jose White, indisputably Cuba’s greatest violinist of the 19th and early 20th century, and the only one to have had a world-class career based in Europe. White was an inspiration to countless string players of Central and South America for many generations. In the mid-90s the Quarteto Jose White came into existence and began rehearsing and building repertoire; the quartet formal debut was in the 1997-1998 season when it was featured in a concert at the notable Chamber Music Festival, and at other venues in Mexico and Canada. Its first performances elicited great success. The ensemble has participated in workshops and masterclasses by the Fine Arts, Lark, Ying and Shanghai quartets, as well as the Borodin Trio. The Quartet is making its long-awaited first U.S. tour this month.

The group includes Silvia Santa Maria on first violin, Sandra Diaz on second violin, Sergio Carrillo on viola and Orlando Espinosa on violoncello, and is now based in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where the members hold principal positions with the Symphony Orchestra as well as teaching and giving solo performances while enjoying the support which allows them to continue developing their primary interest in chamber music.

For information about ticket availability, prices, reservations or more information, contact the Welcome Center at (574) 535-7566 or e-mail

Future concerts in the Performing Arts Series at the Goshen College Music Center:

* Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m. — Bonnie Rideout and the Scottish Trio, with piper Jerry O’Sullivan

* March 12, 7:30 p.m. — Greg Brown (Add-On)

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit