The 2016 Winter Classics tour and concert series brought incredible concerts and educational opportunities to several Alaska communities the first week of February. Zuill traveled with two members of the Cypress String Quartet (violinist Cecily Ward and violist Ethan Filner) to the North Slope, performing for students and community members in Barrow and Alpine Oil Field. (They had planned to also visit Nuiqsut, but that stop was cancelled out of respect for community mourning.) Meanwhile, the other two members of the CSQ (violinist Tom Stone and cellist Jennifer Kloetzel) spent the week in Anchorage, coaching high school and university quartets, and giving special performances in downtown Anchorage and in a long-term care facility.
Later in the week, the quartet was reunited and joined by violinist Paul Rosenthal (the SSMF Founder) and pianist Eduard Zilberkant for a brilliant weekend of music, including performances of both Brahms Sextets. Many thanks to all of the musicians and their community hosts for being so generous with their time and hospitality. Also, our deepest gratitude to Conoco Phillips for sponsoring the North Slope tour and assisting with travel.