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A unique and versatile cello quintet, hailed as “brilliant” and “superb” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, Sakura is built on the artistry and virtuosity of its members: Michael Kaufman, Benjamin Lash, Gabriel Martins, Yoshika Masuda, and Peter Myers. Drawing from the rich heritage of a repertoire that spans eight centuries, their inventive programs are constructed around conceptual threads with a commitment to opening new vistas of beauty and expression by showcasing the great warmth and scope of five cellos. Sakura explores great music of the past through dazzling arrangements that offer fresh perspectives on familiar notes, and continually expands their five-cello repertoire through the commission of new works. In the tradition of the great chamber ensembles, this quintet distills its interpretations through time, reveling in the pure sonic pleasure of a unified and colorful sound. Its name honors the great mentor and artist Ralph Kirshbaum, with whom all five members studied: sakura (桜) (Japanese) and Kirschbaum (German) have the same meaning: “cherry tree”—a plant whose flowers have five petals.