Helen Callus Named Artistic Director

Centrum is pleased to announce violist Helen Callus as the new
Artistic Director for the Port Townsend Summer Chamber Music Festival.
Callus joins the Festival at a time of growth and change as it evolves
into one of the largest gatherings of chamber music students and
performers in the Pacific Northwest, said Centrum executive director
Thatcher Bailey.

native of England, Helen Callus is an international recording artist
and the first elected female president of the American Viola Society.
She currently serves as Associate Professor of Viola at the University
of California, Santa Barbara. “Centrum has always had a unique and
diverse range of possibilities which is evident from the outstanding
array of activities and events it hosts at Fort Worden,” Callus said.
“This was one of the main reasons why I decided to join the program.”

will take Chamber Music at Centrum to a new level of excellence,” said
Bailey. “We are excited about making a serious investment in her vision
for transforming our program into one of the finest opportunities for
the best players and composers in the country, as well as talented
amateurs. She is a highly respected artist with the passion and
connections to attract extraordinary players, teachers, students and
audiences to Fort Worden.”

Callus said that she planned to
involve the community at every level while attracting international
students of the highest caliber. “I believe that there will be no
better way to do that than in Fort Worden’s stunning location,” she
said. “We bring world-class artists to the Fort to work intensely with
our participants, in a situation that no other festival in the country
offers. In the Festival’s week-long format we bring the artist and
student closer by an innovative series of masterclass formats, open
rehearsals and concerts.”

Callus has toured extensively throughout Europe, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States. She recently toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra as invited guest
principal on their national tour. Both her debut recording, Portrait of the Viola, and her subsequent recordings were met with critical acclaim, with Strings Magazine describing Callus as a “violist of the highest caliber.”

Artistic Director for the Port Townsend Summer Chamber Music Festival,
Helen Callus joins Dirk Powell (Festival of American Fiddles Tunes),
Rebecca Brown (The Port Townsend Writers’ Conference), John Clayton
(Jazz Port Townsend) and Phil Wiggins (The Port Townsend Country Blues
Festival) in guiding and shaping Centrum workshops and performances.
Centrum artistic directors, who serve up to five-year terms, select faculty,
structure program content, and serve as cultural ambassadors for
Centrum out in the world.

Callus replaces Centrum’s outgoing
Artistic Director Tom Stone and the Cypress String Quartet, whose
five-year term ended this year. "Centrum's association with the Cypress
String Quartet was extremely gratifying for us,” said Centrum Associate
Director Gregg Miller. “Through a combination of high musical
standards, hard work and infectious enthusiasm they helped build a
fledgling chamber music workshop into an event attended by participants
from across the U.S. and Canada.”