Bartók’s six string quartets are one of the peaks of the whole chamber music literature. Watch this talk by Ara Guzelimian (Artistic Director of Ojai Music Festival and former Dean and Provost of The Juilliard School) and the Callisto Quartet, our 2020-21 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, as they continue to explore the trajectory of the whole cycle of six quartets as well as taking a closer look at the three quartets to be played on Sunday, May 2, 2021 in their final installment of the complete cycle. You may also watch Part One of their Conversation, available now on our Vimeo page.
Caramoor Conversations is a free video series in which we dive deeper into the pieces being performed in an upcoming concert. These in-depth discussions with the artists are a way for the audience to have a better understanding, and hopefully, a greater connection to the composers and their work. After their initial broadcast, the Conversations will be available throughout the current season. You can tune in at any time!
Ara Guzelimian is Artistic and Executive Director of the Ojai Festival in California, having most recently served as Provost and Dean of the Juilliard School in New York City from 2007 to 2020. He continues at Juilliard in the role of Special Advisor, Office of the President. Prior to the Juilliard appointment, he was Senior Director and Artistic Advisor of Carnegie Hall from 1998 to 2006. He was also host and producer of the acclaimed “Making Music” composer series at Carnegie Hall from 1999 to 2008. Mr. Guzelimian currently serves as Artistic Consultant for the Marlboro Music Festival and School in Vermont. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Aga Khan Music Awards, the Artistic Committee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust in London, and a Board member of the Amphion and Pacific Harmony Foundations. He is also a member of the Music Visiting Committee of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City.
Mr. Guzelimian is editor of Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (Pantheon Books, 2002), a collection of dialogues between Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said. In September 2003, Mr. Guzelimian was awarded the title Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for his contributions to French music and culture.
2020-21 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence
Paul Aguilar, violin
Rachel Stenzel, violin
Eva Kennedy, viola
Hannah Moses, cello
Praised for their “intensity and bravado” and the “cohesion and intonation one might expect from an ensemble twice their age” (Third Coast Review), the Callisto Quartet brings together four dedicated and passionate musicians who share a love for chamber music and a true desire for excellence. Since their formation in 2016 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the quartet has quickly garnered top prizes in nearly every major international chamber music competition and has been hailed by audiences across North America and Europe. Grand prize winners of the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and Second Prize Winners of the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Callisto Quartet has also taken home prizes from the Bordeaux (2019), Melbourne (2018), and Wigmore Hall (2018) competitions. Currently serving as the Graduate String Quartet in Residence at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, they also study with Günter Pichler of the Alban Berg Quartet at the prestigious Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain.
The quartet has participated and performed in many renowned chamber music festivals such as the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Emilia Romagna Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the McGill International String Quartet Academy, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, and the Robert Mann String Quartet Seminar. In 2018, at the invitation of Gerhard Schulz, they attended the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar where they also worked with Gidon Kremer and Thomas Adès. As part of their prize from the Wigmore Hall Competition, the quartet received an invitation to the Jeunesses Musicales International Chamber Music Campus in Weikersheim, Germany where they worked with Heime Müller, Donald Weilerstein, and the Cuarteto Casals.
Highlights of their recent performances include debuts in New York City and Chicago on the Schneider Concert Series and at Ravinia Festival, respectively, as well as at the Heidelberg String Quartet Festival. They were also featured in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in July 2019 as Grand Prize winners of the 4th Manhattan International Music Competition Chamber Music Division. Notable collaborations include appearances with cellist David Geringas at the Cleveland Cello Society’s 20th anniversary concert as well as a collaboration with clarinetist Frank Cohen on the ChamberFest Cleveland Series. Over the past two seasons at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival they have collaborated with Paul Watkins, Lawrence Power, Gilles Vonsattel, and John Novacek.
The Callisto Quartet is committed to continually broadening their musical horizons by drawing inspiration from a plethora of mentors and musical approaches. They also believe strongly in passing along their musical insights to younger students and sharing their music in their communities. To this end they have served as faculty and given masterclasses at numerous schools and festivals including the Bravo International Chamber Music Workshop, University of Central Florida, Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, the Greenville Fine Arts Center, and the CIM Preparatory Division. They frequently perform in schools, retirement homes, and other community centers, and are featured as ensemble in residence at the Carolina Music Museum in Greenville, SC.