Grand prize winners of the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Callisto Quartet formed in 2016 at the Cleveland Institute of Music and brings together four dedicated and passionate musicians who share a love for chamber music. Highlights of their achievements include recognition as top prize winners at both the 2019 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition, and the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition where they were also the only North American quartet selected to compete. Additionally, they were prizewinners at the 2018 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition and are one of ten quartets in the world selected to compete in the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition. They are also Grand Prize winners of the 4th Manhattan International Music Competition Chamber Music Division, which featured the quartet in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in July 2019. Beginning in the fall of 2019, they will serve as the Graduate String Quartet in Residence at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where they will work closely with James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Kenneth Goldsmith. They have also been invited to study with Günter Pichler of the Alban Berg Quartet at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain.
The quartet has participated and performed in many renowned chamber music festivals such as the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the McGill International String Quartet Academy, the Shouse Institute, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, and the Robert Mann String Quartet Institute. In April 2018, at the invitation of Gerhard Schulz, they attended the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar where they also worked with Gidon Kremer and Thomas Ades. 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. Notable collaborations include appearances with cellist David Geringas at the Cleveland Cello Society’s 20th anniversary concert and pianist Gilles Vonsattel at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, as well as a collaboration with clarinettist Frank Cohen on the ChamberFest Cleveland Series. This coming year includes a return engagement on the Schneider Concert Series, collaborations at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival with John Novacek, Paul Watkins, and Lawrence Power, a tour in Italy with the Emilia Romagna Festival, appearances at the 2019 La Jolla Summerfest, as well as another collaboration with Frank Cohen on the ChamberFest Cleveland Series. They look forward to performing at the Heidelberg String Quartet Festival in January 2020.
The Callisto Quartet is committed to continually broadening their musical horizons by drawing inspiration from a plethora of mentors and musical approaches. Their primary musical influences include Si-Yan Li, Philip Setzer, Gerhard Schulz, Heime Müller, and Peter Salaff. The Callisto Quartet also believes 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 places including the Bravo International Chamber Music Workshop, University of Central Florida, Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, 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.
photos by Mike Grittani