The Artisan String Quartet

The Artisan Quartet, Patrice Calixte and Caleb Polashek violins, Bruce Williams viola, and Douglas Harvey cello, is mostly comprised of principal players from the Austin Symphony. The AQ has become a fixture around central Texas and beyond including performances on concert series in Blanco, Spicewood, San Marcos, Waxahachie, Arkansas, New Mexico, Kansas, and Mexico. They have multiple appearances at the Victoria Bach Festival, the Mozart Festival Texas in San Antonio, where they have served as principal players in the Festival Orchestra and as Quartet in Residence since 2009, and the Texas Bach Festival in Georgetown where they are Quartet in Residence and Festival Camarata principals. The quartet also presented the Artisan Quartet Series in Austin and completed their three-season long “Genius at Play” Series featuring the complete string quartets of Beethoven.

The Artisan Quartet took its music out-of-state in 2012, traveling to the crucible of classical music. MidAmerica Productions, Inc., invited the Artisan Quartet to make its Carnegie Hall debut performing on the Carnegie Hall Weil Recital Hall Chamber Music Series on March 22. The concert in New York was made possible with very generous gifts from the Classical Artist Development Foundation and the Amatius Foundation and was commemorated by the Texas House of Representatives on March 13, 2013, with H.R. 703 read into the Texas Congressional Record with the Artisans present. The Artisans are considering another trip to Carnegie Hall in the near future.

More recently, the Artisan Quartet has joined forces with the Odeon Preservation Association (OPA) in Mason, Texas to create the Mason Chamber Music Festival. The OPA and Artisan Quartet created the yearly chamber music festival in April of 2016, always scheduled during the Texas Spring wildflower season.

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Thank You to Mr. Richard Kilmer and

Welcome to Patrice Calixte!

The Artisan Quartet has so much to be thankful for, and much of that is due to our friendship and collaboration with Richard Kilmer for the last 30 years. Richard plans to retire as a regular member of the Artisan Quartet in July 2019. Over the years, we have benefited from and deeply appreciated Richard’s dedication to the music, his meticulous preparation, energy, knowledge, and not least of all, his clear and elegant violin playing.

Here are just a few highlights from his illustrious career.

  • Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and considered a child prodigy, he played solo recitals in Tulsa throughout his childhood.
  • Member of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra for 16 seasons and played in the violin section of Amsterdam’s prestigious Concertgebouw Orchestra.
  • Second violinist in the Amati Quartet. Just enter “Amati Quartet Documentary” on YouTube to see a young but unmistakable Dick Kilmer, as he was known then.
  • 2012 performance with the Artisan Quartet at Carnegie Hall in New Your City.

We celebrate Richard’s stellar career and look forward to many more wonderful musical moments together!

We have very mixed emotions as Richard retires from the Artisan Quartet and are very nostalgic remembering all the wonderful moments during our musical partnership. We also can’t contain our excitement over the newest member of the Artisan Quartet.

Canadian native Patrice Calixte began playing violin at age eight and was later admitted to Université de Montréal, obtaining his undergraduate and master’s degree in music performance. Patrice worked with many orchestras in Canada, including the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Patrice moved to Austin where he completed his Artist Diploma at the University of Texas and currently serves as Associate Concertmaster of the Austin Symphony Orchestra as well as section first violin at the Austin Opera Orchestra. We welcome our new addition to the Austin based Artisan Quartet.

Meet the Guest Artists

Scott Haupert – Viola


Steve Girko – Clarinet

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Rick Rowley – Piano

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Richard Kilmer – Violin & Artisan Quartet Emeritus

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Jeff Hellmer – Piano & his classic Big Band Jazz Quartet

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