Skyros in Concert

The Skyros Quartet has performed extensively, traveling around Asia and North America. In their hometown of Seattle, the quartet has concertized at Benaroya Hall as part of the Seattle Chamber Music Society, has been featured artists numerous times at Resonance at Soma Towers, and are seen in frequent performance around the Puget Sound region. They have been heard at the Aspen Music Festival and School (Aspen, Colorado) and the Sunflower Music Festival (Topeka, Kansas). In 2014, Skyros was invited to Ontario, Canada, where they were guest artists at QuartetFest 2014 at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Ontario) and performed at the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society (Ontario, Canada). In 2013, Skyros toured China as part of an official delegation from the University of Nebraska system, performing in Xi’an and Hangzhou. Skyros also received a Hixson-Lied Student Presentation of Scholarly/Creative Activity Grant to tour the Pacific Northwest and later in 2013, appeared at the Deer Valley Music Festival Emerging Quartets and Composers Program (Park City, Utah).


The Skyros Quartet is eager to collaborate with musicians, ensembles, and composers. In the past, they have performed with the Chiara String Quartet, the EsotericsUNL Chamber Singers, NOVA, pianists April Sun and Janka Krajciova, clarinetist David Kamran, and baritones Jared Hiscock and Joshua Zink. In China, they worked with a traditional Chinese ensemble at Xi’an Jiaotong University, seen below. From Mozart and Telemann to world premieres by living composers, Skyros has performed a variety of repertoire in collaboration with choral ensembles, such as the Esoterics, the Kirkland Choral Society, Ancora, and the Orcas Choral Society.

New Music

The Skyros Quartet is excited to be a part of the future of music and to perform works by living composers. They have worked extensively with composers Tonia KoAndy DavisDevin Maxwell, and Liza Sobel. In 2014, they were invited to present at Fast Forward Austin, a new music festival in Austin, Texas. They collaborated with the W4 New Music Collective (Ruben Naeff, Matthew Frey, Tim Hansen, and Molly Herron), performing string quartets and trios by each composer. They were also invited to perform Stephanie Martin's "From a Distant Island" at Sound in the Land 2014, a conference exploring the relationship between music and the environment (Waterloo, Ontario). Skyros has performed in concert and on camera for Second Inversion, an online streaming radio station produced by Seattle's KING FM Classical radio that focuses on performances new and unusual music from all corners of the classical genre. Skyros made up the core string section of the UT New Music Ensemble under the direction of Dan Welcher for its 2011-2012 season.


Masterclasses and Festivals

The Skyros Quartet is passionate about educating future generations of chamber musicians. Skyros has led chamber music masterclasses at institutions such as Seattle University, the University of Victoria, and Central Washington University. In 2017, the members of Skyros were appointed as artistic-directors of Tuned In! Summer Student Festival, a week-long chamber music camp for middle school, high school, and college students in Seattle. Skyros will return to Catalina Mountains outside Tucson, Arizona for a second year in July 2017 to coach and lead masterclasses at Tucson Junior Strings' Chamber Music in the Mountains.


The Emerald City Chamber Music Organization (ECCHO), under the artistic direction of the Skyros Quartet brings chamber music into the schools as a part of the regular curriculum and at no cost to students. A program of Chamber Music Madness, ECCHO was designed with the philosophy that chamber music is a fun and effective way to learn principles of self-reliance, personal responsibility, and teamwork.

ECCHO launched during the 2016-2017 school year at five Seattle area schools: Washington and Kellogg Middle Schools, Cleveland, Roosevelt, and Shorecrest High Schools. Students receive weekly coachings from a designated Skyros member using their chamber music curriculum designed by Skyros specifically for the program. This curriculum features group exercises like scales, chorales, and etudes, as well as literature from the string quartet repertoire.

Seattle Collaborative Orchestra

The members of the Skyros Quartet serve as section leaders and principals in the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra (SCO). The ensemble is a diverse, multigenerational performing arts organization made up of professional musicians, community members, and high school and college music students. SCO concert programs pair traditional orchestral repertoire with music by female, minority and Northwest composers, as well as new symphonic music and world premieres.


Teaching-artistry is a core component of the Skyros Quartet's mission. As teaching-artists, they have engaged with audiences of all sizes and ages. In their formative years, the members of Skyros trained with the Chiara and Miró Quartets, where they learned to create interactive performances that educate and inspire. At UNL, they served as graduate teaching assistants for a teaching-artist class and represented the university at a variety of community engagement events.

A teaching artist is a practicing professional artist with the complementary skills, curiosities and sensibilities of an educator, who can effectively engage a wide range of people in learning experiences in, through, and about the arts.
— Eric Booth

interactive performances

The Skyros Quartet is always adding to their repertoire of interactive performances for all types of audiences. The following list represents a range of recent programs:

  • Musical Cryptograms in Shostakovich's Eighth String Quartet - After hearing the opening minutes of the work, participants work in groups to compose and perform a musical cryptogram of their own design. Following a complete performance of the first movement of the quartet, participants discuss and reflect on how the composition activity affects one’s perception of Shostakovich’s musical cryptograms. Musical Cryptograms was first presented in 2015 at the University of Northern Colorado.

  • The Little Engine That Could - Travel the railroads in a musical narration of the beloved classic The Little Engine That Could. Selections from chamber music favorites by Dvořák, Beethoven, Schubert, Barber, Mendelssohn, and an arrangement of Brubeck's Take 5 accompany the narrative and bring the story of overcoming challenges to life. All aboard!

skyros in the schools

The Skyros Quartet has a variety of school-specific programs that are suitable for a wide variety of classroom and assembly performances. From orchestra leadership workshops to general music classes to school wide assemblies, Skyros' custom programs are flexible and are tailored to each specific presentation. See the brochure below for more information about Skyros' educational offerings.

Especially powerful are Skyros' orchestral recruitment visits. While in Lincoln, Skyros visited all five 3rd grade general music classes at Maxey Elementary in the Spring of 2013, seen in the photos above. Just as predicted by teacher Sylvia Bailey in (Maxey Music Students Get Serious with the Skyros Quartet) about the visits, over 90 students joined the school's beginning orchestra the next fall. 

Then it was time to say goodbye. But before they left Sarah Pizzichemi had a question: Would any of you like to play the violin in the Maxey orchestra next year? Lot’s of hands went up. “How about the viola?” asked Justin Kurys. “And don’t forget the cello!” added William Braun. From the number of hands that went up it was clear that Maxey Elementary School would have a grand orchestra next year.
— Sylvia Bailey, music teacher at Maxey Elementary School


Established 2010 





University of Texas at Austin

The Skyros Quartet was founded to attend a masters program for pre-formed string quartets at the University of Texas at Austin Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music. The members of Skyros earned Masters in Chamber Music Performance in 2012, mentored by the Miró Quartet and Sandy Yamamoto

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

In 2012, Skyros enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music, where they served as the school's first Graduate Quartet-in-Residence. The members of Skyros completed Doctorates in Chamber Music performance, studying under the guidance of the Chiara Quartet.

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Sarah Pizzichemi




Teaching Experience

  • Union College Adjunct Instructor of Violin
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant University of Nebraska-Lincoln: chamber music, outreach, music theory
  • Suzuki Violin Book 1, Viola Book 1, Early Childhood Education
  • UT Austin String Project Group lessons, sectionals, orchestra conductor, music theory, private violin studio
  • Chamber Music in Public Schools (CHAMPS) Chamber music coach, Informance Masterclasses
  • Private Violin Studio Seattle, WA; Lincoln, NE; Austin, TX



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Brandon Vance



Teaching Experience

  • Private Violin Studio Seattle, Washington

  • Guest Lecturer Irish World Academy, University of Limerick

  • Guest Lecturer University of Oregon

  • Guest Lecturer Oberlin, Baroque Performance Institute

  • Sato Center for Suzuki Studies, Suzuki Certification, Books 1-4, plus Practicum (extra hours of private lesson observation)

Orchestra Experience

  • Northwest Sinfonietta Seattle, Tacoma & Puyallup, WA

  • Pacific Musicworks Seattle, WA

  • Early Music Vancouver

    Vancouver, B.C.

  • Pacific Baroque Orchestra

    Vancouver, B.C.

  • Symphony Tacoma, Tacoma, WA

  • Akron Symphony, Akron, OH


  • Cleveland Institute of Music

    • Bachelor of Music Degree, 2009

    • Master of Music Degree, 2010

    • Mr. Paul Kantor’s Studio, 2004-2010

    • Extensive studies with the Cavani Quartet and Mr. Peter Salaff, 2004-2010

  • Aspen Music Festival and School

    • Full Fellowship, Assistant Concertmaster/Mentor, Concert Orchestra, 2008

    • Full Fellowship, Festival Orchestra, 2007

    • Partial Tuition, Starling Foundation Scholarship, 2003

      • Naoko Tanaka, Juilliard Faculty

  • Baroque Performance Institute, Oberlin, Full tuition, Julie Andrijeski Baroque Violin and Dance Scholarship, 2010

  • Zephyr Chamber Music Festival Full-tuition, Courmayour, Italy, 2006

  • National Repertory Orchestra Full tuition plus stipend, section violin, 2005


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Justin Kurys




Teaching Experience

  • Private Viola Studio Seattle, WA
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant University of Nebraska-Lincoln: chamber music, outreach
  • UT Austin String Project Group lessons, sectionals, orchestra assistant, music theory, private viola and violin  studio
  • The Sound Factory Private violin studio in Waterloo, Ontario
  • Chamber Music in Public Schools (CHAMPS) Chamber music coach, Informance Masterclasses


  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music, Doctorate of Musical Arts, Chamber Music Performance, 2016

    • Jonah Sirota and the Chiara Quartet

    • Doctoral document: The Art of Transcription and Its Impact on the Development of the Viola as a Solo Instrument

  • Aspen Music Festival and School Fellowship String Quartet at the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, 2015
    • James Dunham
  • University of Texas at Austin Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music, Master of Music, Chamber Music Performance, 2012
  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier University, Bachelor of Music, Honours Music, 2010

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Willie Braun



Teaching Experience

  • Seattle University Instructor of Cello

  • Co-Artistic Director Chamber Music Madness

  • Edmonds Community College Instructor of Cello

  • Union College Adjunct Instructor of Cello

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant University of Nebraska-Lincoln: chamber music, outreach, music theory

  • UT Austin String Project Group lessons, sectionals, orchestra assistant, music theory, private cello studio

  • Chamber Music in Public Schools (CHAMPS) Chamber music coach, Informance Masterclasses

  • Private Cello Studio Seattle, WA; Austin, TX; Lincoln, NE



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