Richard Kilmer began playing the violin at the age of four in Tulsa, Oklahoma and quickly became an accomplished young violinist under the early tutelage of Mazie Kilmer, Richard's mother and first violin teacher. Richard performed on many recitals as a young man in Tulsa and decided to attend the Eastman School of Music where he was Concertmaster during an historic University Orchestra tour to the USSR in 1960. After achieving the Artist Diploma from Eastman, he moved overseas to study with Authur Grumiaux at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, and with Szymon Goldberg in Amsterdam where he performed in the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. Richard lived in Amsterdam for fifteen years as a member of the famed Amati Quartet and the Mendelssohn Trio, performing worldwide with these ensembles. In addition, he has appeared as soloist with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Michoacan (Mexico) and with the Sinfonica Nacional de El Salvador. He is currently Principal Second Violin with the Austin Symphony and maintains a busy teaching schedule of private violin students and chamber music ensembles.
Caleb Hans Polashek
Caleb is a a tenured member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra's violin section and the newest member of the Artisan Quartet. He earned two degrees from the Butler School of Music at UT Austin, most recently including a Master's in Music in 2012. He has performed in festivals around the country and has had solo engagements with orchestras in Iowa and Texas. Caleb is also a composer, and has had pieces for solo violin and chamber ensembles played on stages in Central Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, and also online. He continues to actively compose while maintaining a busy schedule with the Austin Symphony, Opera, Ballet, and with other ensembles, classical and otherwise.
Bruce Williams began his professional career as a violist at the age of fifteen and four years later won a position with the Fort Worth Symphony. In 1983, he won the principal violist position with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra in Israel and was also a member of the Haifa Clarinet Trio; they performed throughout Israel and Europe. In 1985, upon his return to the U.S., he accepted the assistant principal violist position with the The Orchestra of Santa Fe. He also was invited to concertize throughout the U.S. as a member of the Allegro Chamber Trio (ACT) with flutist Megan Meisenbach and harpist Mary Golden. This trio performed together for many years and was featured on National Public Radio's Performance Today. ACT recorded on Centaur records as The Meisenbach/Golden Duo. In 2003, he won the Austin Critics Table award for Outstanding Instrumentalist for his performance of Hector Berlioz' Harold in Italy with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Williams is the manager, as well as a founding member, of the Artisan Quartet (AQ). The AQ began their Artisan Quartet Series in 2012 in Austin, Texas. This popular string quartet performed at Carnegie Hall in 2012; they were presented by MidAmerica Productions. The AQ was recently named Quartet in Residence both with Mozart Festival Texas in San Antonio and the newly-formed Mason County Chamber Music Festival (MCCMF) in Mason, Texas. Mr. Williams is the Artistic Director of the MCCMF. Mr. Williams is a guest artist with the Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio and the Fayetteville Chamber Music Festival in Fayetteville, Texas and has been invited to perform in chamber music festivals in California and Colorado. He is the principal violist with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Victoria Bach Festival (VBF). He often appears with chamber ensembles and as a soloist during the VBF. Mr. Williams has recorded on Harmonia Mundi recordings with the Grammy Award winning choral group Conspirare under the artistic direction of Craig Hella Johnson.
In 2002, Douglas Harvey became the youngest principal cellist in the almost 100 year history of the Austin Symphony Orchestra. In 2005 he became the principal cellist of the Austin Lyric Opera Orchestra, which received recent reviews from the NY and LA Times for the US Premiere of Phillip Glass's 21st opera, "Waiting for the Barbarians." He has performed as soloist with orchestras such as the San Antonio, Flint, Austin, and San Angelo Symphony Orchestras, the Bear Valley Festival Orchestra, and the Austin Chamber Music Center Festival Orchestra, as well as many other chamber and university orchestras. Live solo broadcasts and recorded live performances have been heard on KMFA, KUT and other radio stations. Douglas has performed chamber music with the Salon Concert Series, Austin Chamber Music Center and the Chamber Soloists of Austin, the Austin Quartet, and guest appearances with other chamber music series. He has also performed in concert alongside legendary virtuosos Aaron Rosand and Douglas's teacher, Paul Olefsky, at Steinway Hall in New York City 2006, and The Miro String Quartet and Friends Concert at the 2006 International Debussy Congress *Live webcast. He has premiered solo and chamber works by first class composers Lowell Liebermann, Kathryn Mishell, Kevin Puts, Dan Welcher, and others.