Meet the Artists
The Rio Verde String Quartet [Sophia Han and M. Brent Williams, violins; Matt Diekman, viola; Daniel Ketter, cello] formed in 2019 with the hope of combining their love of classical music performance with whitewater rafting. Yes, you read that correctly. Their aim is to harness the, at times, unpredictable power of this genre with an unquenchable sense of adventure. They collectively draw upon their shared experiences with other award-winning chamber music groups [the Cezanne String Quartet, enhak\0x0113, the Walden Chamber Music Society, the Eppes String Quartet, etc.] to form something wholly new. They have performed at some of the world's most important venues and taught at a variety of institutions of higher education across the U.S., including in: Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. Their repertoire includes some of the most important works written for/arranged for string quartet from the Baroque era through the 20th Century. The members of the Rio Verde String Quartet are very excited to make their Durango, CO debut in 2020.
M. Brent Williams was Asst. Prof. of Violin/Viola at Fort Lewis College and Lecturer of Violin/World Music at Valdosta State University in addition to summer faculty positions at the Music in the Mountains Conservatory, Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He was also previously Concertmaster of the San Juan Symphony and Albany Symphony Orchestra. A dedicated chamber musician, Williams is the violinist/violist of enhakē who collectively won the Grand Prize at the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition, First Prize at the 3rd International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition, and was a finalist at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and Festa (Japan). He received his DM and MM from Florida State University and his BMA from the University of Oklahoma. Williams has recorded for the MSR, Naxos, Koch, Emeritus, Barsuk, Pias America, Nub, and Alchemist record labels.
Violinist Sophia Han is the Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at Southeast Missouri State University. A versatile musician, Han is equally comfortable in classical and popular music settings having performed as guest soloist with orchestras across the US as well as appearing on tour with artists such as Michael Buble, Audra McDonald, Steven Curtis Chapman, and rock band STARSET. Currently serving as the Associate Concertmaster of Paducah Symphony Orchestra, Han has also appeared as the Assistant Concertmaster of Tallahassee Symphony, Concertmaster of the 2016 Lake Tahoe Music Festival Orchestra, and is in demand as an adjudicator across the nation. She has degrees from Florida State University (DM), University of Michigan (MM), and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (BM).
Matthew "Diek" Diekman - As a current member of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Boulder Philharmonic, and Walden Chamber Music Society, Diek serves the community as a professional coach, teacher, and freelancer. He's professor of Viola at Regis University and guest artist at Denver School of the Arts and has previously held positions with San Antonio Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Sarasota Opera, and as Principal Violist of Tucson Symphony, Utah Festival Opera and the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio.
Daniel Ketter is Assistant Professor of Cello at Missouri State University, Principal Cellist of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and Co-Director of the American Wild Ensemble, which celebrates the people and places that define American communities with new music. Since 2016 AWE has commissioned and premiered over 20 new chamber works inspired by American themes and performed outdoors in more than ten national parks, with funding from organizations including Chamber Music America, National Endowment for the Arts, and Mid-America Arts Alliance. AWE's most recent tours in February and April 2020 celebrated endemic Hawaiian wildlife with performances of new compositions by Hawaiian resident composers in Honolulu and at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, and celebrated the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment with new works about pioneering aviators Amelia Earhart and Bessie Coleman. AWE's first album, Music in the American Wild, was released in 2018 and included 11 premiere recordings released on the ArtistShare label, with an hour of music video footage from national park performances produced by Jorge Arzac available on iTunes. Dr. Ketter earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Eastman School of Music, a MM in cello performance and pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory, and graduated with high distinction from Eastman School of Music (BM '10) and the University of Rochester (BA '10, mathematics). Alongside his work as a performing and teaching cellist, in spring 2020, Dr. Ketter completed a PhD in music theory at Eastman with research interests in Schenkerian topics and performance and analysis. His dissertation, "Heinrich Schenker's Essential Voice: Tracing the Concept of an Essential Voice in Johann Sebastian Bach's Works for Solo Melodic Instruments," outlines the concept of an essential voice in Schenkerian theory.
3rd Ave. Arts • PO Box 1383 • Durango, CO 81302 • (970) 903-8854