The Chicago Q Ensemble deliver expressive, superbly communicative performances.
Lawrence Johnson, Classical Review

We’re enticed … {their album} will draw in newcomers to the genre.
Doyle Armbrust, TimeOut Chicago

Mesmerizing … {Q} found both raw energy and serene quiet in the score.
Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Classical Review

Since their founding in 2010, Chicago Q Ensemble has been heard in concert throughout Chicago, including recitals at the Green Mill, Empty Bottle, Chopin Theater, Northwestern University, DePaul University, Ganz Hall, Uncommon Ground Devon, and the Music Institute of Chicago. In addition to performing great classical works, the quartet is committed to interdisciplinary collaboration and the work of living composers. They have premiered works by Brian Baxter, Eric Malmquist, Matthew Pakulski, Kyle Vegter, Amy Wurtz, and award-winning jazz arranger Joe Clark. In 2011, they teamed up with composer and video artist Patrick Liddell (aka Ontologist) to create a multimedia concert piece. In 2012, they completed a residency at the Poetry Foundation which included six sold-out performances of Fjords, a major collaboration with shadow puppet company Manual Cinema, composer Kyle Vegter, and poet Zachary Schomburg.

The quartet was the 2011 fellowship ensemble at the Worcester Chamber Music Society summer festival, where their activities included a recital, educational workshop, pre-concert lecture, and a performance of the Mendelssohn Octet with Boston-based string quartet QX. In the summer of 2012, they made their debut at the Gesher Festival in St. Louis, performing works of Golijov and Shostakovich.

Their 2012-13 season includes collaborations with composers Amos Gillespie and Shawn Jaeger, as well as performances at the Chicago Cultural Center’s lunchtime series and the Unfamiliar Music Series at the Empty Bottle. They will also participate in a Community Partnership Residency at High Concept Laboratories, where they will develop an intensive, monthlong neighborhood residency program.

You can buy the quartet’s albums here.

Find the quartet on YouTube, visit them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

Kate Carter - Violin

Kate Carter

Kate Carter is a versatile performer with wide-ranging experience as a soloist, chamber collaborator, and orchestral player. She has appeared as soloist and recitalist in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and her native Long Beach, as well as at festivals including Music Academy of the West and the Meadowmount School of Music. She is Assistant Concertmaster of the Elmhurst Symphony, with whom she has also appeared as soloist. Kate has participated in world premieres of new music, performing at the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland, the Rochester Women in Music Festival, as a member of Eastman’s Musica Nova, and on faculty recital series at California State Universities of Long Beach and Fullerton and at the University of California, Irvine. As a chamber musician, Kate has worked with members of the Alexander, Cleveland, Guarneri, New York, and Ying quartets, as well as renowned artists Ilya Kaler, Zvi Zeitlin, Robert MacDonald, Peter Marsh and Menahem Pressler. Kate received her doctorate from Northwestern University, where she has been teaching assistant to Gerardo Ribeiro. She was a winner in 2007 of the Thaviu Strings Competition.

A native of California, Kate has collaborated and recorded with rock groups including the Rx Bandits, Banner Day, and Michael Quercio of The Three O’Clock. Also as a California native, she feels happiest when she is near the ocean, but has decided that Lake Michigan will do.

Ellen McSweeney - Violin

Ellen McSweeney

Ellen McSweeney is an energetic performer and teacher with a passion for chamber music, new music, and arts entrepreneurship. Since arriving in Chicago in 2008, she has been heard with ensemble dal niente, Access Contemporary Music, Homeroom Chicago, Elan String Quartet, Four Score Festival, and on the DePaul Faculty Recital Series. During the 2009-10 season, she was a guest artist with ACM’s Palomar Ensemble, giving performances at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Green Mill, and live on WFMT. Before coming to Chicago, Ellen lived in East Africa, serving on the faculty of the Umoja Arts Centre in Arusha, Tanzania. She has been on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago since 2008.

Ellen holds a B.M. from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and an M.M. from DePaul University. While at Vanderbilt, she won the Merrill Moore Award for Poetry Writing and the Heard Prize for Excellence in String Performance. She has attended the Killington, Apple Hill, and Aspen Music Festivals; has worked with members of the Vermeer and Emerson Quartets, and has represented the Southeastern U.S. at the National MTNA Chamber Music Competition. She lives in Edgewater with two bicycles, a lot of books, and her philosopher husband Tyler.

Aimee Biasiello - Viola

Aimee Biasiello

Aimee Biasiello is a native of Chicago and a passionate advocate for the viola’s role in classical music. Aimee has performed works from the quartet repertoire at festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, Utah Music Festival, ENCORE! School for Strings, and Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy. Aimee has had the privilege of working with members of the Cleveland Quartet, the Vermeer Quartet, the Cavani Quartet, Chicago Chamber Musicians, and Mimi Zweig at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Since returning to Chicago in 2008, Aimee has been heard with the International Chamber Artists, Camerata Chicago, Millennium Chamber Players, Aperiodic Experimental Music Series, Chicago Composers Orchestra, and the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra. Aimee serves on faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago and at Metropolis School of the Performing Arts, as an instructor of violin and viola. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and her Master’s degree from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, as a student of Roger Chase.

Aimee began her music career as a violinist, studying with Desiree Ruhstrat of the Music Institute of Chicago. She later switched to the viola, after realizing her small stature and short arms would pair perfectly with the violin’s larger relative. She now lives in Bucktown where she is becoming famous for her enormous viola case, and her parallel parking skills.

Sara Sitzer - Cello

Sara Sitzer

Sara Sitzer, a native of St. Louis, leads a varied life as an orchestral, chamber, and solo cellist. A member of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, and Firebird Chamber Orchestra in Miami, she also regularly plays with the Milwaukee Symphony and has performed at the Tanglewood, Aspen, Britten-Pears, Pacific, and Wintergreen Music Festivals. In March of 2011, she was selected to perform with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra in Sydney, Australia. Ms. Sitzer has performed all over the world, from the brand new Frank Gehry designed New World Center in Miami Beach to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Additionally, she serves as founding Artistic Director of the Gesher Music Festival of Emerging Artists, a chamber music festival in St. Louis that highlights music written by Jewish composers and other music that relates to the Jewish experience. A proponent of bringing music into the community, she was a member of the HeartStrings String Quartet, a group based in Madison that was dedicated to using live classical performances as a means of music therapy. Ms. Sitzer holds a Master of Music Degree from the University of Wisconsin, where she attended on a Collins Fellowship, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University, where she was a Trustee Scholar. Her principal teachers have included Uri Vardi, Michael Reynolds, Andres Diaz, Ken Kulosa and Glenda Piek. Having recently relocated to the Chicago area from Miami Beach, Sara spends most of her free time being cold, but manages to stay warm with her cellist-husband Richard in their cozy apartment in Elgin.

Booking Information

To book Chicago Q Ensemble or for more information, please contact

Press Kit

To download our press kit and a description of our educational offerings, please click here.



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Q at a workshop in Worcester, MA
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