Cuatro Puntos

CUATRO PUNTOS means “four points” in Spanish, and references our dedication to bringing people from all parts of the world together through music. Musical diplomacy is key to our mission, and we do our part to spread peace and understanding through worldwide performances and partnerships while never compromising our commitment to attaining the highest level of musical artistry.

As an American based ensemble with a global view, in 2014 we performed more than 30 chamber music concerts across the United States. with additional performances in Bolivia, Brazil, and Afghanistan.

We proudly maintain partnerships with the El Sistema Youth Orchestra in the small town of Tarija, Bolivia, as well as with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, Afghanistan. In 2014 Cuatro Puntos also oversaw the creation of a music program at a girls orphanage in Kabul- a project set to continue indefinitely. In 2015, Cuatro Puntos is embarking on a partnership with Amnesty International where we will travel across India performing and talking with young people about respect for basic human rights.

We have recently received support for our barrier-defying projects from the Ambache Trust, Connecticut Office of the Arts, Greater Hartford Arts Council, United Way, and Amnesty International.

From Damascus to Kabul

Why should we celebrate artists in Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan?

One of the greatest global issues of our time is the rise of extremism. Not only is the extremist mindsetagraveconcern,theresultingWesternresentmentof anentireregionandreligionisequally concerning. In Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, centuries of beautiful musical and artistic traditions are being lost in the face of violence. At the same time, interest in these cultures is being lost in the Western world as we begin to project the violence of a few onto entire nations of people. Even worse, Westerners are beginning inflict our own violence in retribution. The musicians and artists who create amid extreme circumstances are heroes working to preserve their culture while also communicating the struggles of everyday people in their countries. Western musicians, such as the musicians of Cuatro Puntos, can do their part by helping spread the message and the beauty of these traditions in an effort to represent the lives of the everyday people. Together, artists on both sides can do their part to help diffuse escalating tension and resentment.

Why have we chosen this topic?

In 2014, members of Cuatro Puntos traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan to work with students at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. As a result, Cuatro Puntos also oversaw the creation of a music program at an orphanage in Kabul. The desire of these young people to create music in an active war zone as well as in a society where musicians are marginalized inspired Cuatro Puntos to do all it can to tell their story and assist them.

Cuatro Puntos in Kabul

Part of this visit was a collaborative performance that included the world premiere of Dast be Dast (Hand to Hand) by UK composer and Afghan music scholar Sadie Harrison. A few months later, in December 2014, the very auditorium where this ground-breaking performance took place was brought down by a suicide bomber who entered the hall during a performance by the students. This deadly explosion badly wounded the director of the school, Dr. Ahmad
Sarmast. This performance comes as a musical response to this act of violence. The main feature of the program will be another world premiere by Sadie Harrison, this time for string sextet and accompanyingstudents. ThisprojectcelebratingAfghanfolksong will lead to an album recorded by Cuatro Puntos musicians alongside young female musicians in Afghanistan.