Lux String Quartet is a Twin-Cities based ensemble, bringing a dynamic edge to performance and education since 2013. Avid recitalists, Lux maintains an active presence in a wide array of musical spheres, from concert halls and churches, to coffee shops and podcasts. Their concert series, "Lattes with Lux," established an enthusiastic fan base and is currently hosted by several local, independent coffee houses around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
Lux has performed in many concert series including the Schubert Club Courtroom Concert Series, the Waverly Chamber Music Series in Waverly, IA, the Lakes Chamber Music Society in Alexandria, MN, and Music @ Lynnhurst in Minneapolis. Each season Lux presents three recitals at The Baroque Room.
Dedicated to music education and instilling a love for their art in the next generation, Lux regularly presents concerts and workshops at elementary schools and early music education programs. Lux served as a 19/20 MPR ClassNotes Artist and continues as a ClassNotes Artist in the 20/21 season. Lux is currently quartet-in-residence at the Colorado Chamber Music Institute, and was quartet-in-residence at the Augsburg University Suzuki Talent Education and the Oskaloosa Music Festival.
A wide spectrum of musical backgrounds and tastes contributes to the group's creativity, which is reflected in their collaborative projects with other artists. In addition to presenting the classics of the string quartet repertoire, Lux frequently collaborates with living composers such as Minnesota-native David Evan Thomas and Australian Nicholas Vines. Beginning in 20/21 will perform at least one work by and African American composer each season.
Marc Levine, violin
Marc Levine enjoys a career as a chamber musician and orchestral leader specializing in performances on both modern and baroque violin. On baroque violin, Marc performs with his chamber ensemble, Flying Forms, that, in addition to performing standard and contemporary repertoire, has also presented larger scale programs including oratorios and operas. In Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he is based, Marc regularly appears as leader or section member with the Bach Society of Minnesota, Bach Roots Festival, and the Lyra Baroque Orchestra. On modern violin, Marc performs chamber music from all eras on various series, most recently as a member of the Lux String Quartet and on the MacPhail Spotlight Series. A noted entrepreneur, Marc co-founded The Baroque Room, a performance space in downtown Saint Paul, and the Saint Paul Classical Music Crawl, an event held four times between 2015-19 featuring the entire city's classical music scene and named one of the top ten classical music events of 2015 by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.
Marc has recorded for Early Music New York, the Lyra Baroque Orchestra, and with Flying Forms on a disc of new music written for the group by composer Nissim Schaul. Upcoming recordings with Flying Forms of Platti trios and baroque violin sonatas will be released in 2020 and 2021, respectively. A prizewinner in the 2008 American Bach Soloists International Competition for Baroque Violin, Marc has played with many noted early music ensembles around the United States and, on both baroque and modern violin, has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Kennedy Center. In addition to work with Flying Forms as a performer of contemporary music, Marc has been a member of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and has collaborated with Saint Paul's own Zeitgeist.
As an educator, Marc has spoken, coached, and presented lecture recitals at universities and in various series on baroque performance practice and entrepreneurship. He also appeared as a pre-concert lecturer for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from 2017-19. With Flying Forms, Marc has held educational residencies with Minnesota Youth Symphonies and Minnesota Public Radio.
Marc received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University. He has studied with Franco Gulli, Pamela Frank, Ani Kavafian, the Emerson String Quartet, Sigiswald Kuijken, and Marc Destrubé, among others. Marc plays on a Giovanni Pistucci violin and a Marcelo Vianna Cruz baroque violin.
Stephanie Skor, violin
Stephanie Skor has spent the last fifteen years as a performing artist in Boston, but now as violinist and St. Paul native has returned to her hometown. She performed extensively in the New England area, and is now pursuing a busy freelance career in the Twin Cities, and most recently joined the Lux String Quartet.
Stephanie is an honors graduate of the New England Conservatory, where she studied with Nicholas Kitchen, a founding member and first violinist of the Borromeo String Quartet. While studying at NEC, she attended Madeline Island Chamber Music, the Mannes Beethoven Institute, and Bowdoin International Music Festival. Stephanie began playing string quartets at the age 14, and ever since has loved to explore chamber music in all its forms.
In demand for her diversity as a violinist, Stephanie has enjoyed an eclectic performing career – from a U.S. tour with Jethro Tull to concertmaster at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. For six seasons she was a violinist in the critically acclaimed Boston-based chamber orchestra Discovery Ensemble, founded and conducted by Courtney Lewis. Stephanie has performed with such artists as Kim Kashkashian, Paula Robison, Jorja Fleezanis, and the Pacifica Quartet. She was a member of the Gardner Chamber Orchestra and has worked with inspiring conductors including Osmo Vänskä, Michael Stern, Douglas Boyd, Joshua Weilerstein, James Ross, and Larry Rachleff. Stephanie has appeared in performances on WGBH, MPR, TPT, and Newstalk, a national radio station in Ireland.
Passionate about 20th century and contemporary music, Stephanie has premiered over 20 new works. She has enjoyed working with composers Georg Friedrich Haas, Vinko Globokar, Christian Wolff, and Nicholas Vines, and has played works by John Cage, György Ligeti, Cornelius Cardew, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Lei Liang, Thomas Adès, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. In Boston Stephanie was a member of the Composers’ Series in Jordan Hall, the NEC Contemporary Ensemble, and Juventas New Music Ensemble. She plays in the Callithumpian Consort and has performed with that Boston-based ensemble in the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, México. Stephanie will be recording a new work by Australian composer Nicholas Vines in June 2019 at Cornell University.
Kirsti Petraborg, viola
Kirsti Petraborg is a versatile chamber musician and a passionate teacher. Now the violist of Lux String Quartet, Kirsti refined her skills as a chamber musician as a founding member of the Meadowlark Quartet. Kirsti currently performs with the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra as well as the Clear Water Chamber Players and is a regular guest at the Oskaloosa Chamber Music Festival. In 2016, she performed Hindemith’s Trauermusik with the festival chamber orchestra.
Not only a chamber musician, Kirsti has soloed with Exultate Chamber Orchestra and the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra and has played with the Duluth-Superior, LaCrosse and Sioux City Symphony Orchestras. Kirsti diversifies her schedule by playing musical theater with Artistry Minnesota and by performing with the one of the few Cuban-style charanga groups in the United States, Charanga Tropical. The Latin group takes her out of the concert hall and into places a viola normally would not travel, including the Minnesota State Fair and Chicago’s much-loved Summer Dance in Grant Park, and has given her the occasion to use her dancing skills on stage as well.
Kirsti has been an adjunct faculty member at Southwest Minnesota State University as well as Luther College. At her teaching studios in the Twin Cities area, her students hone their technique as well as learn the art of making music. She teaches at the Southwest Minnesota String Festival, and has spent several summers at Lutheran Summer Music Festival.
Energetic about sharing her love of the viola with others, Kirsti is currently on the board of the Minnesota Viola Society in the capacity of Past President. She received her doctoral degree in Viola Performance at the University of Minnesota, where she also earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees. She has studied with Korey Konkol, Sabina Thatcher, and Dr. Andrea Een.
Käthe Jarka, cello
Käthe Jarka has performed to critical acclaim in major concert venues across the United States, Canada, and in Europe as a recitalist and chamber musician. She has collaborated with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Ruth Laredo, Grant Johannesen, Donald Weilerstein, and the Juilliard Quartet, and has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival. She has appeared several times as a guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. While a member of the Shanghai Quartet, she toured extensively, appearing at the Tanglewood, Norfolk, and Ravinia festivals. She has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Since 1990 she has been an artist member of the Garden City Chamber Music Society, performing a wide range of repertoire with some of the finest chamber musicians of the day. She is also a member of cello trio Vc3, with cellists Elizabeth Anderson and Robert LaRue.
Ms. Jarka has been on the faculties of the University of Richmond, Virginia and the Preparatory Division of the Peabody Conservatory as well as the Juilliard MAP program and has served as chamber music assistant to the Juilliard Quartet, and as a coach for the Young Musicians Program of the Education Division of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She has also served on the faculty of Mannes Prep where she taught students of all ages. A certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, Kathe also served as a member of the faculty of Alexander Technique New York City (ATNYC), a teacher-training school for Alexander Technique, and The Neighborhood Playhouse, a top-tier drama school in New York City.
Käthe Jarka holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School where she was a scholarship student of Leonard Rose. She was also the recipient of a Fulbright Grant, for study with William Pleeth in London.
Ms. Jarka is frequently heard on National Public Radio, and has appeared several times on Around New York with host Steve Sullivan. Recordings include works by Debussy, Roberto SierrGaubert, and Copland on the Pickwick, New Albion, MSR and MMC labels.
Since moving to the Twin Cities, Käthe has performed with numerous local ensembles, including the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Baaken Trio, and is a member of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble. She has served on the faculties of the International Cello Institute (ICI) , the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and has coached chamber music at the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and their two very musical cats.