August 10, 2018


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 a top prize winner at 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 six quartets in the world selected to compete in the 2019 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. 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. 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.

Their primary mentors include Si-Yan Darren Li, Peter Salaff, and Gerhard Schulz. They have also worked frequently with the Brentano, Cavani, and Emerson Quartets. The quartet was selected as the CIM Apprentice Quartet for 2017, a position which included extensive education and performance activities throughout the Cleveland community and a recital on the Cleveland Chamber Music Society’s concert series. 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 are also featured as ensemble in residence at the Carolina Music Museum in Greenville, SC.

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 collaborations 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 their New York City debut on the Schneider Concert Series. This coming year will include performances at the Ravinia Festival as well as a collaboration with clarinetist Frank Cohen on the ChamberFest Cleveland Series and a collaboration with John Novacek at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. They look forward to performing this summer at the LaJolla Music Society SummerFest as well as at the Heidelberg String Quartet Festival in January 2020.


Violinist Paul Aguilar, from Greenville, South Carolina, is a fourth-year undergrad student of Jaime Laredo and Jan Mark Sloman at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). Paul has won top prizes in various concerto and scholarship competitions including the 2016 Milhaud Competition at CIM and the 2017 CIM Spring Concerto Competition. Paul enjoys sharing his music making at his church, listening to music, reading, and journaling.
Rachel Stenzel, age 22, is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music studying violin under Stephen Rose and Jan Mark Sloman. Originally from Holiday Hills, IL, she was formerly a student of Almita Vamos and was also actively involved in the Midwest Young Artists orchestra and chamber music programs. Currently she is concertmaster of the Suburban Symphony in Ohio and a member of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. Her true passion is for chamber music and much of her time is devoted to rehearsing and performing with her string quartet. She also performs regularly at her church and enjoys sharing her music with the community and in more personal settings. When not practicing she enjoys running, journaling, traveling, and all kinds of crafts.
Violist Eva Kennedy is currently a Masters student at the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Lynne Ramsey. She also earned her Bachelors degree at CIM in 2017, studying with Jeffrey Irvine, as well as spending a semester as an exchange student at the Paris Conservatory studying with Sabine Toutain. Eva has been passionate about chamber music since her first experience playing in a quartet at age 7, when she began studying at the Chamber Music Connection in her hometown of Worthington, OH. Her interests outside music include feminism and rock climbing.
24 year old cellist Hannah Moses is an Artist Diploma candidate at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she previously received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music studying cello with with Dr. Melissa Kraut. Hannah has been the recipient of many awards, including the Dr. Bennett Levine Chamber Music Award, the CIM Alumni Association Award, the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award through “From the Top”, and others. Hannah has performed in masterclasses for renowned cellists such as Zuill Bailey, Andres Diaz, Lynn Harrell, Hans Jorgen-Jensen, Ralph Kirshbaum, Joel Krosnick, David Requiro, and Alisa Weilerstein, and has appeared as soloist with many local orchestras. Hannah is an avid chamber musician and as the cellist of the Callisto Quartet spends much of her time playing string quartets. Her other passions include traveling, hiking, writing, and meditation.

photos by Mike Grittani