Save space in your schedule for Sunday, May 23, at 4:00 p.m., for an extraordinary concert appearance by The Artisan Quartet. The First Baptist Church in Wimberley, located at 15951 Winters Mill Parkway, is the host site for this special event. Ticket prices are $12 for General Admission, $8 for Adult Seniors, and $5 for students.
It is no secret that Wimberley is home to many musicians, most first-class in their chosen milieus. Paula E. Bird is a local musician who is accomplished far beyond the average scale. Bird joined The Artisan Quartet as a violinist beginning in 2009. She is the sole female in The Artisan Quartet. The other world class members are Richard Kilmer, violin, Bruce Williams, viola, and Douglas Harvey, cello. Describing the breadth of the quartet's experiences, Bird said, "Between us, we have performed on six continents and half the United States. The Artisan has previously performed in the Twilight Series, the Santa Cecilia Series in Austin, Texas State University, and the Salon Concert Series in San Antonio." Their collaboration has taken them to the studio, as well. "The group recently recorded part of the film score soundtrack for the documentary about Barbara Conrad Smith, the legendary Metropolitan Opera singer," said Bird. "The film, entitled "When I Rise" premiered to a standing ovation at the SXSW film festival in March 2010." Each member has a lengthy list of educational and professional credits. The following are only a few facts about them.
Bird is an accomplished violinist and pianist. She received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, her M.M. from Texas State University, and is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio. Currently, she plays first violin with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. She teaches theory, chamber music, private violin lessons, Mariachi violin sectionals, and String Techniques classes at Texas State University. She is also a certified teacher of Dr. Suzuki's Talent Education Method and maintains an extensive private studio in Wimberley.
Richard Kilmer is an internationally acclaimed violinist. He founded the quartet, evolving it into the musical dynamic that it is now. Currently, he is the Principal Second Violin with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. And, he teaches private violin lessons and plays with renowned chamber music ensembles.
Bruce Williams, award-winning violist, began his professional career at sixteen. He has performed across the United States and Europe. While in Israel, Williams was principal violist in the Haifa Symphony and a member of the Haifa Clarinet Trio. Now, he is the principal violist for the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Also, he performs in the Allegro Chamber Trio.
One major distinction of Douglas Harvey's career occurred in 2002 when he became the youngest principal cellist in the history of the austin Symphony Orchestra. In 2005 he became the principal cellist of the Austin Lyric Opera Orchestra. He has performed as soloist with various Central Texas symphony orchestras. His live and recorded live solo performances have been aired on KMFA and KUT among others. Harvey has made guest appearances for numerous chamber music series and has performed in concert with legendary virtuosos. Also, he has premiered solo and chamber works by many prestigious composers.
The instruments they play are as unique as the musicians themselves. Bird plays a violin made by Giuseppe Ornati from Milan, Italy in 1935. She noted, "Bruce plays a viola made by Brothers Grancino from Milano, Italy around 1680. Douglas plays a cello made by Brothers Gand in Paris around 1836. And, Richard plays a violin made by Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini from Turin, Italy in 1779."
Bird said, "The Artisan is currently planning out its 2010-2011 season, so be sure to contact us and sign up to receive further information about upcoming events." For more information about these talented musicians, calendar of events, and driving directions to the May 23 concert, visit www.artisanquartet.com. Or, join "The Artisan Quartet" on Facebook. For booking information, call (512) 694-7687,
Oda Lisa, special to the View Wimberley View May 12, 2010