The Artisan String Quartet, Patrice Calixte violin, Bruce Williams viola, Douglas Harvey cello, with guest artist Mariama Alcântara violin, is comprised primarily of principal players from the Austin Symphony and has become a fixture around central Texas and beyond. In addition to regular appearances at the Victoria Bach Festival, the Artisans enjoy Quartet in Residence status at the Texas Bach Festival in Georgetown, the Mozart Festival Texas in San Antonio, Classical Sound Inc., and the Mason Chamber Music Festival. MidAmerica Productions, Inc. invited the Artisan String Quartet to make its Carnegie Hall debut performing on the Carnegie Hall Weil Recital Hall Chamber Music Series on March 22, 2012. The concert in New York was commemorated by the Texas House of Representatives on March 13, 2013, with HR 703 read into the Texas Congressional Record with the Artisans present.
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Patrice Calixte, violin
Mariama Alcântara, violin
Bruce Williams, viola
Douglas Harvey, cello
Oboist Ian Davidson has appeared as soloist and chamber musician on six continents as part of forty-six international concert tours. He is Principal Oboe of the Austin Opera Orchestra and Solo English Horn and Associate Principal Oboe of the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Other engagements include stints as Principal Oboe of the Dallas Bach Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Dallas and the Austin Sinfonietta as well as Assistant Principal Oboe of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, Principal Oboe of the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, and Solo English Horn of the Bear Valley Music Festival.
Among his 75 concerto appearances include performances with the Dallas Bach Orchestra, Austin Chamber Orchestra, Austin Sinfonietta, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Laredo Philharmonic, Chamber Soloists of Austin, Blue Lake Festival Orchestra, Dallas Bach Orchestra, Balcones Chamber Orchestra, Texas Bach Festival Orchestra and the Bear Valley Symphony Orchestra. International recitals and residencies include the Moscow Conservatory of Music, Hong Kong Baptist University, the University of Silesia, Trinity College of Music in London, the Institute of Culture in St. Petersburg, the University of Piui in Brazil, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa, EAFIT University in Medellin, Colombia, the University of Guadalajra, the University of the Americas in Quito, and the State Conservatory of Music in Bratislava.
Dr. Davidson holds degrees from DePauw University and the University of Texas. In 2013 he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of DePauw University and in 2014 was awarded, by DePauw, the award for Outstanding Achievement in Creative and Performing Arts. Recently he began a three-year term as a member of the DePauw Centers Advisory Board.
Ian also serves as a Fulbright Senior Specialist with the United States Department of State. In 2013 and 2014 he travelled to Tanzania to work with students and faculty at Tumaini University in Usa River.
In 2014 Dr. Davidson was named University Distinguished Professor by Texas State University and Regents’ Professor by the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System.
Ian records and performs exclusively on Oboes and English horns manufactured by F. Loree in Paris.
Toby Blumenthal, a Steinway Artist, has appeared as a soloist with many ensembles including the Chicago and Houston Symphony Orchestras. She has received high acclaim for her numerous chamber music performances with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, duo recitals with her late husband, Philadelphia Orchestra cellist, Bert Phillips, and other internationally renowned artists.
A native of Chicago, she is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Music, and the University of Houston (graduate studies). Her post graduate studies were with Leonard Shure at the University of Texas in Austin, and Rudolph Serkin at Marlboro Chamber Music Institute in Vermont.
Toby and her late husband, Bert Phillips founded The Luzerne Music Center and the Luzerne Chamber Music Festival in Lake Luzerne, NY in 1980 where they shared executive and artistic directorships and where she continues to teach and perform. Toby and Bert were also Founders and Co- Artistic Directors of Classic Chamber Concerts in Naples, Florida where they performed in the Luzerne Trio (Raymond Gniewek, violin), and the Philadelphia Piano Quartet (Norman Carol, violin, Lamar Alsop, viola,) for fifteen years.
Toby now resides in Texas and was Director of the CHAMPS (chamber music in public schools) for Salon Concerts in Austin, for ten years. She is currently Artistic Director and Pianist for Classical Sound. She has performed for the past ten seasons in the Georgetown Festival of the Arts, participated in ‘The Mozart Festival Texas in San Antonio, the Texas Bach
Festival in Georgetown, and the Mason Chamber Music Festival.
Hailed by Gramophone UK Magazine and Concerto Magazine as “unmissable”, “impactful” and “courageous”, Brazilian violinist Mariama Alcântara leads a multifaceted career as a performer and educator. Her debut album ‘Brazilian Landscapes: Music for Solo Violin from Brazil’, released by the Italian-Japanese label Da Vinci Classics, has earned international recognition for her artistry.
Mariama grew up in a musical family, making her solo debut at the age of 12 with the Paraiba Symphony Orchestra. Presently, she is a member of the Austin Opera, Iris Chamber Orchestra, and also performs with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. She has given solo recitals in Brazil, Austria, France and the United States.
In addition to her extensive solo and orchestral career, Mariama is an avid chamber musician. She currently plays with the Artisan String Quartet and has been a guest artist with the Aizuri Quartet, Dali Quartet and the Allenspark Chamber Music Festival.
Passionate about improving equality and diversity in classical music, Mariama worked as a researcher with the Boulanger Initiative, an advocate of women composers based in Washington D.C.
A strong advocate for music education, Mariama serves as a faculty member at Austin Chamber Music Center, Texas Lutheran University, and has conducted masterclasses at Conservatório Jose Siqueira (Brazil), Universidade Federal da Paraíba (Brazil), and the University of Colorado Boulder.
A 2019 recipient of the prestigious Dorothy Delay Starling Foundation Fellowship, Mariama earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder as a student and teaching assistant of Professor Harumi Rhodes and Ed Dusinberre of the Takács Quartet.