Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


February 1, 2013
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.






Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 8 p.m.


Renowned string quartet and master fiddler collaborate for a spectacular night of Cajun music


            FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 1, 2013 ­– Heralded as one of the world’s preeminent cross-genre string quartets, Turtle Island Quartet brings its unique musical stylings to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 8 p.m. Master fiddler Michael Doucet, from the celebrated ensemble BeauSoleil, joins them onstage. Titled “Louisiana Story,” this performance is inspired by the 1948 film of the same name (which earned American composer Virgil Thomson the Pulitzer Prize for his musical score), and explores Cajun music and the fascinating region that birthed this uniquely American genre. This performance is Family Friendly: youth through grade 12 are half price when accompanied by an adult. All ticket holders are invited to attend a free pre-performance discussion, sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts, which begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

            Turtle Island Quartet was founded in 1985 after violinist David Balakrishnan conceived of the group as part of his master’s thesis at Antioch University West. Founding members Balakrishnan and Mark Summer, widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest contemporary cellists, have since welcomed the young and alternative perspectives of violinist Mateusz Smoczynski and violist Benjamin von Gutzeit to the group. Winner of the 2006 and 2008 Grammy® for Best Classical Crossover, the Turtle Island Quartet is known for its ability to incorporate a vast and diverse collection of musical genres, including folk, R&B, bluegrass and rock into the ensemble’s own original works. The quartet’s cross-genre music has been applauded as “intellectually engaging, technically dazzling and emotionally rich,” by The Birmingham News and The New York Times has said that the ensemble “plays with energy and inventiveness.”

            Michael Doucet is a renowned fiddler and the founder of BeauSoleil, which has been praised as “one of the most colorful root bands on the scene,” by The New York Times. The band has earned 11 Grammy® nominations and won the 2009 Grammy® for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album for “Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.” A Louisiana native, Doucet has spent more than 30 years mastering his knowledge and skill of Cajun music. He first met the members of the Turtle Island Quartet in 1988, when he invited the quartet to perform at the Festival International de Louisiane, held in his hometown of Lafayette, La. They later performed together in a post-concert jam session, which, more than 20 years later, culminated in the creation of “Louisiana Story.”










Tickets for TURTLE ISLAND QUARTET are $23, $38 and $46. Family Friendly: youth through grade 12 are half priced when accompanied by an adult. Visit the box office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @GMU_CFA.


About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.


About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.