RAPHAEL SPIRO STRING QUARTET (RSQ)
RSQ was formed in the summer of 2012 as a legacy and a living memorial to the late Raphael Spiro (1905-2000) when the three upper string players learned at a chamber music gathering that their principal violin teacher had been Mr. Spiro. In 2013 RSQ participated in a project that brought a consortium of professional musicians to perform live demonstrations in area public schools. RSQ performs formal recital concerts, gives educational workshops for audiences ranging from elementary to college level, contributes to local community and neighborhood outreach programs, and is available for weddings, parties and celebrations for all.
Violinist Irene Gadeholt studied with Raphael Spiro and Michael Foxman in Portland, Oregon and in her youth was a delegate to Tanglewood Music Festival where she studied with Max Winder of the Boston Symphony. She was concertmaster and soloist with the Portland Junior Symphony (now PYP), and a featured soloist with the Portland State University orchestra during her undergraduate study in music there. Irene performed many seasons as a core member of the Oregon Symphony and has held posts of assistant concertmaster with such ensembles as the Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theatre, the West Coast Chamber Orchestra, and guest concertmaster of the Newport Symphony in Newport, Oregon. She is currently active performing with many local chamber music groups and continues to mentor young musicians through her private teaching studio.
Violinist Mary Ann Coggins Kaza studied with Raphael Spiro in Portland, and at Tanglewood with Louis Krasner. She has pursued an extensive professional musical career of thousands of performances during her remarkable 42 years with the Oregon Symphony including concerts at the Hollywood Bowl (CA) and Carnegie Hall (NYC). She has performed with the Portland Opera and Oregon Ballet Theatre, West Coast Chamber Orchestra, Little Orchestra of Portland, and with the former Kaza String Quartet, as well as local touring shows with countless celebrities, Broadway musicals, casino specials, chamber music, and tours of Europe. She mentors youth: President of the Board of Directors, Metropolitan Youth Symphony; Executive Board member Local 99 American Federation of Musicians; and President, Music Education Assistance Project, Inc.
Violist Sharon Eng studied with Raphael Spiro, and with William Lincer and Paul Doktor at Juilliard (BM, MM Viola Performance). A member of Classical Nuances (ob, va pn) for over 20 years, she has performed to rave reviews: United Nations in NYC, Athens Opera House, Australia's National Museum, Seoul's Performing Arts Center, and the Sultan’s family in Kuwait among many. She played in the American Ballet Theatre and NYC Opera orchestras; and toured China twice (2010, 2011) as co-principal viola of the Polish Sinfonietta. Sharon maintains two private studios, teaches strings at Multnomah Arts Center, is principal violist with Bravo! Northwest, co-founded Madrona Viola Duo, and conducts the Oregon ProArte Youth Chamber Orchestra. She is faculty-in-residence of the Intl Music Institute and Festival (IMIF) at Mount St. Mary's Univ. in Maryland (www.imif.us) since 2003.
Cellist Gayle Budd O'Grady is currently a member of the Oregon Symphony. During her tenure in Portland, she has also performed with the orchestras of the Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theatre, the Portland Chamber Orchestra, and the West Coast Chamber Orchestra. Before coming to Portland, she was a member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Canada. Gayle has been a past member of the Aurora String Trio, HTR Piano Trio with the late violinist Cline Otey of the Oregon Symphony, and currently with the Tapestry String Quartet. She was a student of Ira Lehn in Santa Barbara, and later with Gabor Rejto at the Music Academy of the West. She continued her studies with Gabor Rejto at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance. Gayle's busy schedule also includes teaching private students of all ages.