CWU News

Pulling Strings: Kairos Quartet Lyceum Begins July 16

“Chamber music is a conversation between friends,” said famed biographer Catherine Drinker Bowen. This week, music students from all over the Pacific Northwest will converge upon Central Washington University to attend the annual Kairos Lyceum, a ten-day, residential, chamber music institute for dedicated high school and college-aged string players and pianists. The Lyceum begins on July 16.

Hosted by the Kairos String Quartet, CWU’s resident ensemble, the Lyceum has provided an intimate and inspirational chamber music experience for 11 years. This year, the quartet and visiting guest artists will mentor 26 students in six chamber ensembles as they engage with challenging and rewarding masterworks of the string quartet repertoire.

Lyceum organizers like to challenge their students with more than just Bach and Brahms. This year, Andy Piacsek, CWU physics chair and professor, will present the workshop, the Physics of Musical Sound. Chris Bruya, director of jazz studies, will take the young classical musicians out of their comfort zone by asking them to spontaneously create music in an improvisational workshop. Tor Blaisdell will further expand the students’ stage presence and awareness with an acting workshop for all participants.

The Lyceum incorporates live performance as part of the curriculum, with a series of concerts and recitals. All events are free and open to the public.

‘We will present a faculty concert at 7:00 p.m., July 18, in the McIntyre Music Building Recital Hall,” said Timothy Betts, Lyceum coordinator and Kairos violist. “The concert will feature movements of Tchaikovsky's exciting Souvenir de Florence for string sextet and a Brahms Quartet for Piano and Strings. Martin Kennedy, pianist, and director of theory and composition, will join the quartet for this piece.”

In addition, the Lyceum will feature the artistry of Victor Toral, classical guitarist and professor at the Salzburg Conservatory in Salzburg, Austria, at the international guest artist recital on 7:00 p.m., July 21 in the Music Building Recital Hall.

The Lyceum’s young artists will perform short chamber music selections at noon on July 22 at the Hal Holmes Center, in downtown Ellensburg.

There will be a concert on Friday, July 24, and Nikolas Caoile, CWU’s Director of Orchestras, will lead the Lyceum Chamber Orchestra. The Kairos Quartet will close the program with Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat major, op. 130. The concert begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Music Building Concert Hall

The Lyceum finale concert will be held at 2:00 p.m. on July 25 in the Music Building Recital Hall.

About the Kairos Quartet
Comprised of violinists Carrie Rehkopf and Denise Dillenbeck, violist Tim Betts and cellist John Michel, the Kairos String Quartet is recognized as one of the premier chamber ensembles in the Pacific Northwest. The quartet holds an endowed residency at Central Washington University where all four members also teach. The ensemble maintains a busy schedule, regularly touring and performing throughout the region and making national/international appearances. The quartet is well known for its commitment to education and community service, conducting clinics and making dozens of appearances at schools, youth symphonies, community centers, retirement communities, and institutions of higher education each year. “Kairos” is the Greek word for non-chronological time: those special moments experienced by children at play, reunited friends, or artists absorbed in their work. The Quartet hopes to create many such moments.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,