The Kennedy Center

Callisto Quartet


Grand prize winners of the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Callisto Quartet was 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.

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 the Bravo International Chamber Music Workshop, 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 the prize from the Wigmore Hall Competition, the quartet received an invitation to the Jeunesses Musicales International Chamber Music Campus in Weikersheim, Germany. Highlights of their performances this past year 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. Upcoming engagements in the 2018-2019 season include debuts in New York City on the Schneider Concert Series as well as at the Ravinia Festival.

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 1st 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, 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 Bachelor’s 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.

23 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 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.

Sara Daneshpour is the 3rd prizewinner of the 2017 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition and 2013 Laureate of the ProLiance Energy Classical Fellowship Awards of the American Pianists Association. She is the First Prize winner of the XII Concours International de Musique du Maroc (Morocco, 2012), 2010 Astral Artists National Auditions and 2nd prize of the 2007 William Kapell International Piano Competition, . She has studied under the direction of Leon Fleisher at the Curtis Institute of Music, Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky at the Juilliard School, and Dr. Oleg Volkov. Her studies are continuing under Sergei Babayan at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 2015.

        Ms. Daneshpour has performed not only in her native city of Washington DC, but also throughout the U.S., Russia, Canada, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Norway, Denmark, France, Sweden, Spain, Portugal,  Israel, and Japan.  She has been heard on stages of such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Great Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. In addition, she has been featured as a soloist on prestigious music series including the Werner Richard Saal concert series in Munich, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Strathmore Hall in Washington, DC, Ventura Festival, The Frederic Chopin Society in St.Paul, Minnesota, Portland Piano International, The Gnessin School of Music in Moscow, and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York.

        Ms. Daneshpour's performances have earned high accolades of audiences and critics alike. The Washington Post wrote of her performance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra "...she created transfixing poetry. And she found delightful details in passagework and incidents that other pianists treat as routine." The Baltimore Sun stated that she "delivered a powerhouse account of Tchaikovsky's Concerto No.1 producing enough tone for two pianists in the process", while the New York Concert Review wrote,“ she lavished color on oft-neglected lines, illuminated subtle beauties, and raged through the storms, always with stunning polish...she exhibits all the requisites for a high voltage career and more: blazing technique, power, expressivity, imagination, and a lovely stage presence.“

     Highlights of past seasons included performances of Bartok Piano Concerto No.2 with the Mariinsky Orchestra in Valery Gergiev’s Keyboard Festival in St. Petersburg, performances  with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Gerard Schwarz in Chopin's Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No.2 with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Maestro George Hanson, and with Maestro Peter Bay at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon and performances with the Israel Camerata and Israel Philharmonic in Tel Aviv. Ms. Daneshpour recently also gave solo recitals at the Musee d'Orsay, Salle Cortot, the Copenhagen Summer Festival, the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, and  San Francisco Chamber Music.

Watch Past Performances

Video 2/20/2019: New England Conservatory & The Cleveland Institute of Music - The Conservatory Project

The Conservatory Project is an initiative designed to present young musical artists in classical, jazz, musical theater, opera, and more from our nation’s leading undergraduate and graduate conservatories, colleges, and universities in performance at the Kennedy Center.

Free general admission tickets--up to two per person—will be distributed in the States Gallery, beginning at 5 p.m.