Musician Feature: Callisto Quartet!

Hello, Callisto!

Paul Aguilar, violin | Rachel Stenzel, violin | Eva Kennedy, viola | Hannah Moses, cello


Where are each of you from? How did you form as an ensemble?

Paul is originally from Greenville, SC, Rachel is from the Chicago suburbs, Eva is from Columbus, OH, and Hannah is from the Cleveland area. We all knew of each other and had played together during our time at CIM, and about a year ago we decided to form a quartet. All four of us love playing string quartet repertoire so much, which is really what brought us together. You can read more about our story here:




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What do you love most about Cleveland’s independent classical music scene?

Cleveland is a great place for ensembles like us who are just getting started because it is such a rich place for classical music – we are constantly inspired seeing concerts by The Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Chamber Music Society, as well as the knowledge and inspiration we draw from working at CIM with our amazing coaches Si-Yan Li, cellist of the Cavani Quartet, and Peter Salaff.

Does your ensemble have any focus on outreach or community engagement?

As part of the Apprentice Quartet Program, we have done quite a bit of programming in elementary schools in the Cleveland area. Last spring we visited several schools to give kids the opportunity to learn about the instruments and the way a string quartet functions. We each teach privately in the area as well and believe very strongly in the power of music education.

What long terms plans does Callisto have at this time?

We have just a couple of years left at CIM and we hope to begin auditioning together for residency programs at other schools. In the meantime, we will continue to apply to competitions and festivals together and see what happens!



Crazy performance memory?

In our recent performance with David Geringas, we had to perform a piece by Lithuanian composer Anatolijus Senderovas. In the middle of the piece, we actually had instructions to start yelling at Mr. Geringas as he was playing. It was a first for all of us having to shout at such a world-renowned musician!



What do you do when you aren’t performing or rehearsing?

We each have our own interests, but as a quartet we really just enjoy travelling and eating together and being together outside of rehearsals. We have gone on quite a few road trips by now, we’ve stayed in some questionable AirBnbs, and eaten more meals together than we can count. Many of our rehearsals take place at each other’s apartment. When this happens, snacks are always involved, and we have been known to order pizza to CIM during some of our late night rehearsals.

What about some of your musical inspirations?

The answer to this is different for all of us, but that is one of the great things about all of us coming from different cities and backgrounds and being influenced by different types of music and art – everyone has a unique viewpoint and different ways of being inspired.

Any upcoming performances and recent notable events?

We will be giving a free recital at CIM on December 14 at 6pm as part of our performance requirement as the Apprentice Quartet at the Cleveland Institute of Music. We will also be performing on the Intensive Quartet Seminar Gala Concert with five other quartets from CIM on December 6 at 7pm at CIM. Both of these will be in Mixon Hall. We recently performed a concert with world-class cellist David Geringas on his Cleveland recital, which was an amazing experience for us.

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