Coaches and Teaching Artists

The Chamber Music Guild community includes dedicated coaches and teaching artists who are passing along their knowledge and love of chamber music and teaching valuable ensemble music-making skills to the next generation of players.

Current Coaches and Teaching Artists

Skyros Quartet

Skyros Quartet

Chamber Music Guild Artistic Director Skyros Quartet brings a bright and inventive style to the performance stage. Passionate about the education of future generations of musicians, Skyros musicians provide coaching for ensembles in Chamber Music Guild programs. Beyond their work in the Pacific Northwest, Skyros has concertized across the US, Canada, and China. Founded in 2010 at the University of Texas at Austin for their Masters in Chamber Music studies, Skyros members completed a doctoral quartet residency at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This dynamic quartet released their debut album, INTROSPECTIVE ODYSSEY, to great international acclaim in August 2015. It can be heard on the Navona label of Parma Recordings.

Sarah Pizzichemi

Sarah Pizzichemi

Dr. Sarah Pizzichemi (DMA, MM, BM) has distinguished herself as a versatile and passionate artist and educator with international performances and masterclasses as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician. She is a founding member and violinist of Skyros Quartet, established in 2010, and co-creator of Skyros Quartet’s 501(c)3 nonprofit: Constellation Creatives. Sarah is concertmaster of the Saratoga Chamber Orchestra of Whidbey Island. She is also co-concertmaster of the Pacific Northwest Conducting Institute during the summer. She is co-founder of the music publishing company Evergreen Music Press, which has a mission to broaden string and chamber music education.
Sarah has many private violin students, and maintains the award winning Pizzichemi Violin Studio. Her students regularly perform as soloists with orchestras, attend prestigious music festivals, win and place in competitions, and go on to earn college degrees in music. Sarah has also performed with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, Auburn Symphony, Waco Symphony, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, substituted as concertmaster of Seattle Modern Orchestra, and was previously concertmaster of the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra.
Sarah received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance with honors and her Master of Chamber Music degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, and her Doctor of Musical Arts with an emphasis in String Quartet from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln as part of the graduate quartet-in-residence with Skyros Quartet. Her dissertation, “Virtuoso Violinist Maud Powell: Enduring Champion of American Women in Professional Music,” adds to the research literature of feminist musicology. Her main mentors include the Coleman Violin Studio, Brian Lewis, Sandy Yamamoto and the Miró Quartet, Hyeyung Yoon and the Chiara String Quartet, Jerzy Kaplanek and the Penderecki Quartet, Earl Carlyss, James Dunham, and Sylvia Rosenberg.

Brandon Vance

Brandon Vance

Brandon Vance (BM, MM) had a prodigious start to his performance career when he won the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship in 1999, the youngest to do so, at the age of 14. Since then, he has established himself as a violinist, fiddler, ensemble player, and music educator, performing and teaching at universities and venues throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including University of Oregon, University of Limerick in Ireland, and The Nevis Centre in Fort William, Scotland. In addition to performing with the Northwest Sinfonietta and maintaining a private violin studio in the Seattle area, Mr. Vance is an active composer and self-produced recording artist with seven albums to his name. He joined Skyros Quartet in 2019.

Justin Kurys

Justin Kurys

Dr. Justin Kurys is a founding member and violist of Skyros Quartet. As a member of Skyros he performs nationally, with tours to California, Connecticut, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Texas, Nebraska, and throughout Washington State; as well as internationally with tours to Canada and China. Recent highlights include performances with Skyros at Benaroya Hall for the Seattle Chamber Music Society Winter Festival, several performances at SOMA towers for their Resonance Concert Series, multiple performances at Harris Hall for the Aspen Music Festival and School, and at the Moscow Music Festival, in Moscow Idaho. Dr. Kurys is on faculty at Seattle University. With Skyros, he can be heard on their debut recording “Introspective Odyssey” which was received with critical acclaim. Dr. Kurys maintains a private teaching studio in Lynnwood.

Willie Braun

Willie Braun

Dr. Willie Braun, cello is an active performer and teacher in the Seattle area. He is currently the cello instructor at Seattle University and maintains an active private cello studio. As a founding member of Skyros Quartet, he has performed across the US, Canada, and China.
Willie earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Chamber Music Performance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His doctoral document, “The History of the Cello Endpin and Its Effect on Technique and Repertoire,” is the first publication in over twenty years dedicated to this specific topic. Willie also holds music performance degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and Arizona State University. He has studied under the direction of Gregory Beaver, Joshua Gindele, Thomas Landschoot, and the Miro and Chiara String Quartets.

Cecilia Archuleta

Cecelia Archuleta

Cecilia Archuleta, violinist, enjoys a varied and colorful career as a chamber musician, orchestral player, and soloist. Her refined and expressive virtuosity have brought numerous engagements with some of our region’s most esteemed ensembles, as well as internationally. In her native Los Angeles, she studied violin with Frances Hahn, Eudice Shapiro, Paul Shure (member of the Hollywood String Quartet), and was privileged to count Camilla Wicks, Henryk Szeryg and Jascha Heifetz among her mentors.

Cecilia was concertmaster with Philharmonia Northwest and has played with Northwest Sinfonietta, the Seattle Symphony, Pacific NW Ballet Orchestra. She is currently a member of Seattle Baroque Orchestra and the Auburn Symphony Orchestra.

In chamber music (her greatest love), Cecilia has performed with the Philadelphia String Quartet for twelve seasons at the Olympic Music Festival, and the renowned Onyx Trio Series at Town Hall. She is on faculty with the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Madness series and Midsummer Musical Retreat, where she coaches chamber ensembles. She has performed with Gallery Concerts, Intimate Baroque, Anacortes Arts series, Friday Harbor Chamber Music Festival, Oswego music Festival and the Mainely Mozart Festival.

As a soloist, Cecilia has been a guest of the Toluca Symphony, Four Seasons Chamber Orchestra, Northwest Philarmonia, Octava Chamber Orchestra, Cantare Ensemble, and the Chaspen Chamber Orchestra. She has toured North and South America with the Orchestra de la Juventud and the Toluca Symphony. Highlights of her experience in Los Angeles include concerts for Princess Grace of Monaco with harpsichordist Igor Kipnis and a special performance for the President of Mexico, by special request of the First Lady of Mexico, and a performance of the Bach Double Violin Concerto with Jack Benny!

Charles Enlow

Charles Enlow

Charles Enlow, pianist, has been richly praised throughout the United States and in Europe for his sensitive and virtuosic recital performances. In the Pacific Northwest, he has appeared frequently as a solo recitalist and with chamber music ensembles. Charles Enlow’s performance repertoire spans over three centuries, from Bach, Scarlatti, and Mozart to Rachmaninov, Mompou, and contemporary works by American composers. Charles has a special passion for the piano music of Spain and France, with a particular interest in the solo piano music of Gabriel Fauré. A native of Idaho, Dr. Enlow pursued his musical studies at the Juilliard School and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Dr. Enlow attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. He has taught at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University, and is currently a member of the music faculty at Shoreline College, where he teaches collaborative piano, vocal ensemble performance, and produces Shoreline Community College’s opera and musical theater productions.

Natalie Gress

Natalie Gress

Natalie Gress (she/her) is a theatre educator in Seattle Public Schools! She grew up in Renton, Washington and found her passion and place to be in storytelling for the stage (and behind the curtain). A local director, actor, lighting and set designer, she’s a dedicated life-long learner who’s excited to learn new skills in the work. Sharing her love of the art form and teaching youth how to connect, collaborate, and create together is what she loves to do. Natalie has taught summer camps with GreenStage, a company that brings free Shakespeare to the parks. This summer she is running the Seattle Outdoor Theatre Festival, which brings free theatre to Volunteer Park. She’s excited to join Chamber Music Guild’s Summer Student Festival and play with students as they prepare their ensemble’s piece for performance!

Thane Lewis

Thane Lewis

Thane Lewis, violist, is principal violist of Symphony Tacoma. He studied with Steven Staryk at the University of Washington and has performed as Assistant Principal Viola of the Boise Philharmonic and as an extra with the Anchorage Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the Auburn Symphony, the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, and the 5th Avenue Theater Orchestra. Mr. Lewis has appeared as soloist with Symphony Tacoma, the Eastside Symphony, the Vashon-Maury Chamber Orchestra, Octava Chamber Orchestra and the Lake Union Civic Orchestra.

Miriam Shames

Miriam Shames

Miriam Shames, cellist, earned a BA in Literature from Yale University and a Masters degree in Cello Performance from Juilliard. She spent twelve years in arts administration, as a classical music publicist for Shuman Associates and Young Concert Artists, and then for five years as Executive Director of the Piatigorsky Foundation in New York City. As a freelance performer in Seattle since 2000, she has served as Principal Cello of Philharmonia Northwest, Assistant Principal of the Tacoma Symphony, and has played with Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, the Northwest Sinfonietta, and Seattle Choral Company, among many other area ensembles. Currently, Miriam maintains a busy private teaching studio and is director of Carlsen Cello Foundation, a non-profit that loans fine cellos to deserving and talented students who cannot afford their own instrument. She and her husband Michael Cole, a photographer, live on Queen Anne in Seattle.

Past Guest Teaching Artists and Coaches

Tim Betts
Leslie Johnson
Alexander Kerr
Tessa Lark
Quinton Morris
Shaunyce Omar
Tim Pizzichemi
Stephen Rose
Bion Tsang
Andrew Velizon
Jeffrey Wang
Laurie Wells