Master Class with the Callisto Quartet

“Flexiblity allows us to navigate the difficult parts.”

What sounds like a life lesson is actually about bowing technique. It’s one of the tips Paul Aquilar, first violinist of Callisto Quartet, gave to John Jay High School orchestra students during their virtual visit in mid-October.

The Callisto Quartet is the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at Caramoor. Their programs for John Jay’s orchestras were live streamed from Rice University where the musicians are the Graduate String Quartet in Residence. They played a portion of their November 1 Caramoor concert for the students: Béla Bartók’s String Quartet No. 6, followed by a Q&A session and a master class with high school orchestra students Anton Klettner and Leigh Bullard and middle school orchestra students Fenton Lio and Valerie Shue. 

"I have participated in a few master classes at John Jay HIgh School and every one of them has been helpful in providing insight on where I can improve musically," said Anton. "With the Callisto Quartet master class I was able to get advice from actual professional musicians who have devoted their lives to mastering their instrument, so their comments are extremely valuable to me."

"In these difficult times, it is more important than ever for us to find ways to make connections for our students,” said Elissa Leventhal, conductor of John Jay Middle School and High School’s Orchestra. “The virtual workshops show that even at a distance, students can be inspired by professional musicians and learn valuable lessons from them. Thank you very much to Caramoor for providing this wonderful experience for my students and to the Callisto String Quartet for their expertise.”