String quartet land safely after plane hijack

String quartet land safely after plane hijack


norman lebrecht

February 18, 2014

The Harlem String Quartet had a scare yesterday when a plane they caught was hijacked in mid-air and flown to Geneva. The hijacker was the Ethiopian co-pilot and he gave himself up on landing. The quartet – violinists Ilmar Gavilan and Melissa White, violist Jaime Amador and cellist Matthew Zalkind – are safe and well.

harlem string quartet

UPDATE: Actually, it now appears, they never boarded the hijacked flight. What happened is that this: the quartet had taken a photo of themselves with an Ethiopian plane and posted it on their wall the day before the hijacking. When family members and friends saw the photo and started asking if they were OK, Melissa responded they were fine… from there, the word went viral that they’d been in a drama.

Apologies for the confusion.


  • Benjamin says:

    This isn’t true. The quartet was not on the plane.