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Tue, Jun 13


Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum

Fulton Street Chamber Players at Folio

Fulton Street Chamber Players at Folio
Fulton Street Chamber Players at Folio

Time & Location

Jun 13, 2023, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM PDT

Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, 93 Pike St #307, Seattle, WA 98101, USA

About the Event

Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum is pleased to welcome back the Seattle-based Chamber Players, anchored by Walter Gray, cello, and Rachel Swerdlow, viola, for their second 2023 concert at Folio, joined by Cordula Merks, violin, and Ilana Zaks, violin.

Performances will be in the round, which puts audience members close enough to read the music on the stands. Enjoy a performance of Mendelssohn string quartet in D Major Op. 44 #1, followed by an intermission with a wine reception and delectable appetizers in classical Folio fashion. The evening will conclude with a performance of Maurice Ravel's string quartet in F Major.

About the performers 

Walter Gray has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Mexico, the Far East, and Europe, including performances in Moscow, Odessa, Zagreb, Seoul, and Tokyo. He was a founding member of the Kronos Quartet and for over five years presented hundreds of concerts including numerous world premieres. He has continued to be a new music enthusiast performing with the New Performance Group, Quake, and Music of Remembrance. A member of the Seattle Symphony since 1979, Mr. Gray has performed as soloist with the orchestra several times. He has taught at the State University of New York at Geneseo, Mills College, Cornish College of the Arts, Western Washington University, the University of North Texas, and Seattle University.

Rachel Swerdlow has been a member of the Seattle Symphony viola section since 1987. Originally from New York, she attended Juilliard’s Pre-College Division, Curtis Institute of Music and graduated with highest honors from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a B.A. in Music History and Theory. She earned a Master's Degree in Performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she also taught music history to undergraduates and coached chamber music in the school’s Prep Department. Principal teachers include Eugene Becker, John Graham, and Isadore Tinkleman. Rachel was a Fellow at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, attended the Taos, N.M. Chamber Music School and The Quartet Program in Troy, N.Y. She served as principal viola of the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Colorado Philharmonic and is a regular participant in the Grand Teton Music Festival.

Cordula Merks is the concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Previously, she held the position of First Assistant Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony, and before moving to the United States in 2011, she was the concertmaster of Germany's Essen Philharmonic, Bochum Symphony and Bergische Symphony.  Merks has also served as guest concertmaster for many orchestras, including the Houston Symphony, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Portuguese National Opera, and Lucerne Festival Orchestra under Claudio Abbado. Merks has a diverse career as a soloist and chamber musician, performing in the United States, Israel and all over Europe.  Also an increasingly active teacher, Merks is currently on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Merks has won prizes at all Dutch national competitions, as well as at various concerto competitions and international competitions, including the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria.

Ilana Zaks, who grew up in Boston, began playing the violin at the age of three. She studied with Donald Weilerstein at the New England Conservatory where she received her Bachelor's degree in violin performance and minor in liberal arts. She then received her Master's degree at Yale University where she studied with Ani Kavafian. Zaks is an alumna of the Perlman Music Program, where she studied with Itzhak Perlman.

Ilana’s many honors include the Yale University Broadus Earle Prize for Outstanding Violinists (2022), Yale Women Faculty Forum Seed Grant (2022) and being a featured performer for Celebrity Series’ Concert for One (2019).

Ilana enjoys curating performances that feature multidisciplinary and multimedia collaborations that prioritize the inclusion of works by underrepresented and living composers. Ilana Zaks joined the Seattle Symphony in 2023


  • Folio Members

    Folio, MLG and Wider Horizons Members

    +$0.63 service fee
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  • General Admission

    +$0.75 service fee
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  • Pay What You Want

    Supports future concerts at Folio.

    Pay what you want
    +Service fee
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