The Crown City String Quartet has been the premier group featured in the High Desert Chamber Music Series in Central Oregon since their debut in the organization’s inaugural concert. Founded in 2007, their performances have been praised as "sublime" and "simply moving and spectacular". Based in the Crown City; Pasadena, California, the members have worked together in the Motion Picture and TV recording studios and are current and former members and principal players of some of Southern California's most renowned music organizations, including the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, and the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Chamber Orchestra. They are regularly featured at a number of chamber music series in Southern California and the Pacific Northwest.
A review described the group's performance as "rich, smoky, heavy with nostalgia. Its textures were rendered with limpid gracefulness...felt old-fashioned in the best way: genuinely and unapologetically Romantic in the best of the Central European tradition." (Ted Esteban Ayala Villaroel, Culture Spot LA)
The group is dedicated to Educational Outreach efforts, and regularly conducts performances and Q&A sessions at a number of locations. The group has also contributed to instructing and mentoring the Spotlight Chamber Players, a HDCM Educational Outreach program.
With a refreshing and unmistakable camaraderie that is present both on and off-stage, the group is recognized for delivering dynamic and engaging performances of standard repertoire.
A Southern California native, violinist Isabelle LaForet Senger received her Master’s degree from UC Los Angeles, magna cum laude, and Bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego, summa cum laude. She has performed with numerous prominent orchestras in Southern California, including the Los Angeles & Pacific Opera Orchestras and the Pasadena, Long Beach, and Pacific Symphonies. Her previous orchestral engagements include the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Chamber Orchestra, and she was also Principal Second Violin of the Orquesta de Baja, California. Her primary instructors include Mark Kaplan, Mark Baranov, and Janos Nygyesy. She has participated in the Spoleto Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Eastern Music Festival, and the Meadowmount School of Music.
An active chamber musician, Ms. Senger is a founding member of the Crown City String Quartet. She has performed as a guest artist and in recital with such artists as Martin Chalifour, Heiichiro Ohyama, Frank Almond, Trio West, Orloff/Walz Duo, and the Thies Consort. As a recipient of the Maxwell H. Gluck fellowship, she was a member of the Gluck Piano Trio, representing the UCLA School of Music at a number of institutions and workshops in Southern California. As a member of the Spoleto Quartet, she performed throughout Italy in 1999 representing the Spoleto Festival Chamber Program at locations including Konzertsaal Pfalzbau, Wiener Konzerthaus, Spoleto Duomo Piazza, and Teatro Puccini di Firenze.
Ms. Senger is the Founder and currently serves as Executive Director of High Desert Chamber Music a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon.
A recent performance “allowed Kumar to demonstrate that, in addition to making an utterly beautiful sound, he is a born leader, and the performance responded to every last facet of a work gigantic in stature.” (Bernard Jacobson, Music-Web International) Also praised by press for his “obvious communicative powers”, “sense of sheer enjoyment”, and having “the precision and tonal richness of a virtuoso”, violinist Kevin Kumar has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among numerous other orchestras. Kumar has also been active as an orchestral player, serving as Concertmaster of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra under Valerie Gergiev and Semyon Bychkov in tours throughout major European cultural centers. He was personally invited by Sir Georg Solti to participate in the Solti Project at Carnegie Hall.
As a devoted chamber musician he has performed in various ensembles and festivals throughout the United States, Europe, and Central America and participated in numerous radio and television broadcasts, including a featured appearance on a primetime NBC sitcom. Kumar has given the world premieres of chamber music and solo works by composers such as Grammy-nominated composer Javier Navarrete, Daniel Catan, R.I. Gordon, and Jeremy Cavaterra. He is also active in the television and motion picture scoring industry, having played on scores by John Williams, Danny Elfman, Alan Silvestri, Alexander Desplat, Hans Zimmer, and many others.
Along with appearing as the violinist of the Catgut Trio, Kumar is the co-founder/co-artistic director of the Salastina Music Society. This Los Angeles based chamber music series, which has inspired praise and excitement from both critics and audiences, seeks to redefine the classical concert experience by exploring new concert formats while providing the world-class performances of the greatest artistic works of human genius. On the east coast, Kumar is the co-director of the Canandaigua Lake Music Festival, a summer chamber music series in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. In addition to attending Columbia University and the Manhattan School of Music, Kumar received the Jascha Heifetz Scholarship and his Advanced Studies in Music Diploma from the University of Southern California and Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. He has studied with Alice Schoenfeld, Viktor Tretyakov, Linda Rose, and Gennady Kleyman and benefited from masterclasses with Dorothy Delay and other musical luminaries.
Violist Carrie Holzman-Little received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Primary instructors include William Primrose, Heiichiro Ohyama, Ron Copes, and Louis Kievman. She was invited to attend the Tanglewood Music Festival under the baton of Leonard Bernstein, the Blossom Music Festival under the umbrella of the Cleveland Orchestra and the Music Academy of the West under the direction of Maurice Abravanel. Ms. Holzman-Little currently holds positions as Assistant Principal Viola of the Pasadena Symphony and a member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Crown City String Quartet. She is on the faculty of the Gold Coast Chamber Music Festival, the Verdugo Young Musician’s Association, and also runs a private teaching studio. She has spent the past twenty years as a member of the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene, Oregon under the direction of Helmuth Rilling.
Cellist Dane Little is a native of Washington State, where he earned a Bachelor of Music from Washington State University. After studies with Stephen Kates in Baltimore and Claus Adam in Aspen, Mr. Little came to Los Angeles to study with Robert Martin at California Institute of the Arts, where he earned a Masters of Fine Arts. As a busy and sought after performer in prominent Los Angeles based organizations, he holds the position of Assistant Principal Cello in the Pasadena Symphony and is also a member of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, in addition to working in the Motion Picture and TV studios. He has spent the past twenty years as a member of the Oregon Bach Festival inEugene, under the direction of Helmuth Rilling. Also an avid chamber musician, Mr. Little and his wife, Carrie, are both members of the Crown City String Quartet. He is also a member of the Mountain Trio, a group he formed with pianist and sibling, Lorna Eder.