Gallia Kastner is an 18 year old violinist from Arlington Heights who studied with Almita and Roland Vamos. She will be attending the Colburn School to study violin with Robert Lipsett this fall. She commenced her private violin study at the age of five and a half with Betty Haag-Kuhnke. Gallia has won numerous competitions locally, nationally, and internationally, both as a soloist and a chamber musician.
She is a winner of the 2014 YoungArts National Scholarship Week, 2013 Blount Slawson National Concerto Competition in Montgomery, Alabama, the 2013 Ars Viva Concerto/Aria Competition, the 2012 Triennial Johansen International Competition in Washington, D.C., the 2012 Skokie Valley Concerto Competition, the Society of American Musicians Competition, the overall open division at the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, the Sejong Cultural Society, and the Chinese Fine Arts Society. She was awarded the 2013 Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Scholarship and the Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Foundation Scholarship from the Musicians Club of Women in Chicago.
An avid chamber musician, Gallia was a member of the Lumiére String Quartet that won first place at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the 2013 Midwest Young Artists Chamber Music Competition, and the 2013 Jules M. Laser Chamber Competition. She was also the violinist of Trio Solaris in 2014 which placed first prize at the Merit School of Music’s Chamber Competition and collaborated with the dancers of the Trey McIntyre Project. Trio Solaris traveled to Massachusetts to perform seven concerts with the dancers at the Jacob’s Pillow dance venue. This past year, she was a member of Quartet Étoile, and they were winners of the 2015 Rembrandt Chamber Music Competition and 2015 Midwest Young Artists Chamber Competition. Quartet Étoile was ask to perform with the Northbrook Symphony and in Pianoforte Studios in Chicago for a radio talk show.
Gallia’s broadcast performances include appearances on 98.7 WFMT’s Introductions, WTTW Channel 11, WGN Channel 9, and a Today Show appearance with Rachel Barton Pine. Gallia’s performances with orchestras include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra, Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra, Highland Park String, North Shore Chamber Orchestra, Montgomery Symphony, and the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra in Pennsylvania. Other stage appearances include concerts at Millenium Park, Ravinia’s Bennet Gordon Hall and outdoor Pavilion, Lincoln Center, and Kloster Schontal and Schwabish Hall Kultursiftung in Germany.
She has had master classes with Robert Lipsett, Rachel Barton Pine, Vadim Gluzman, Arkady Fomin, James Ehnes, Joseph Silverstein, Ida Kavafian, Ben Beilman, Ilya Kaler, Milan Vitek, Ivry Gitlis, Cavani Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, and Ying Quartet.
Gallia is a 2015 graduate of John Hersey High School. She performs on a copy of the “Ex-Soldat” Guarneri del Gesu by Peter Seman, 2008, on generous loan from the Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation.