“This isn’t just an ensemble to watch, but one to support… This is the future of meaningful music.”
“As cacophony assaults us from all sides, Salastina keeps the flame of actual music burning bright.”
— David Ehrenstein (LA Weekly/Variety)
"Genuine care and thought was clearly put into assembling these works into a context that illuminated facets of them that are often overlooked… No less care was lavished on the performances themselves; each of the musicians on stage formidable solo artists in their own right. Their unanimity of tone, elegant phrasing, deep expressiveness, and bristling energy had to be heard to be believed… The name of the Salastina Society may not be known even to some of the region’s hard-core chamber music buffs. It’s one of Southern California’s best-kept musical secrets – but extraordinary performances such as Sunday’s will assure it a lasting fame well beyond the Golden State’s borders."
-- Ted Ayala (Crescenta Valley Weekly)
"Afterwards, folks spill back out into the Highland Park night with a gleam in their eyes and lightness in their step—all warmth and smiles, lit up from the inside. This is what inevitably happens... you leave feeling like you just took part in something really special, something sacred that can never be recreated."
-- Christina Huntington (Sirens and Scoundrels)
"Programming – the selection of works to be played at a performance of classical music – can be crucial. In the right hands, it not only makes for an appealing spectrum of contrasting and complementing colors, but it also sets the listeners’ ears on a journey in which these works not only stand alone, but are also contextualized within the greater environment that surrounds them. It’s a kind of storytelling in which piece after succeeding piece draws the listener along the compelling thread of narrative spool being drawn before them. In this regard, the performances last weekend by Salastina Society... revealed not only the superlative polish of their musicians, but their uncanny ability to weave programs that can be illuminating and even surprising."
-- Nestor Castiglione (Crecenta Valley Weekly)
"The program did, in fact, keenly engage my attention with its inherent pace and diversity – not to mention the outstanding artistry, virtuosity and creativity... Kumar and Jasper created one of the highlights of the afternoon with their breathtaking performance of Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz. They were of one mind in their moving portrayal. Their continuous legato lines beautifully intertwined in O’Connor’s unique blend of classical, bluegrass and jazz. The performance was stunning in its simple beauty. I will not soon forget the experience."
-- Theodore Bell (CultureSpot LA)
"The Salastina Music Society’s opening concert followed the contemporary trend of embedding a classical gem — in this case, Brahms Op. 111 Quintet — with music of varying character and sensibility. The world premiere of Jeremy Cavaterra’s brought forth real soul from Elizabeth Futral, who then closed the concert in triumph with a “Sempre Libera” that brought down the house. The quality and commitment of the players throughout the evening was never in doubt; they... gave a lesson in elegant virtuosity that is rare."
— Laurence Vittes (Gramophone Magazine/Huffington Post)
“Salastina is leading the way for the future of chamber music. With audience numbers shrinking and a general lack at interest from youth in classical music, String Visions has always applauded those who are bold enough to break with tradition… If classical music is going to remain relevant to our entire culture and not just a select portion of society, then we need to modernize the concert hall so that audiences won’t feel intimidated. Salastina does just that, and they’re not afraid to try just about anything to bring classical music to a wider public.”
-- Nicholas Heinzmann (Ovation Press)
“Founded by violinists and chamber musicians Maia Jasper and Kevin Kumar, Salastina Music Society is a classical concert series that aims to bring a dose of culture to Los Angeles… The society’s performances include musical selections drawn from the Renaissance through the present day, an emphasis on vocal chamber music, audience participation and an assortment of atmospheres to enhance the classical music experience.”
— Los Angeles Times
"The core musicians have become very comfortable together and transmit a cohesive artistic interpretation and synchrony in their timing. Salastina... has become a very significant and distinctive contribution to the chamber music scene in Los Angeles. The scholarly programming with its quality of intellect and approachability, coupled with the area’s finest musicians, is a winning combination."
-- Theodore Bell (CultureSpot LA)
"Transfigured Night, especially the way it was played the other night... covers an enormous amount of emotional terrain. I can't imagine a better interpretation of this piece, which was remarkably warm and saw each voice fully integrated with the others. A nice bonus to this and some other Salastina concerts include an introductory interpretation by the KUSC deejay and general classical man-about-town Brian Lauritzen... By asking the group to play brief passages from the piece, he brought out far more than I knew."
-- Scott Timberg (The Misread City)
"Not only did [Salastina] assemble a thought-provoking program that was played with world-class polish, but they did what more classical music organizations ought to in their performances: Give the listener to something to think hard over even after the notes have long since vanished into silence."
-- Nestor Castiglione (Crescenta Valley Weekly)