The Polymnia Quartet (Benjamin Hart and Kate Withrow, violins; Amelia Clingman, viola; Philip Von Maltzahn, cello) was founded in 2015 in New Orleans with a focus on presenting classical standards and contemporary compositions in atypical venues, offering audiences fresh ways to experience chamber music. The Quartet performs regularly at the Marigny Opera House and for the Marigny Opera Ballet. Locally, they have performed at Southern Rep Theatre, Nola Brewing Company, Tulane University, and at the Audubon Park “Music Under the Oaks” series. In 2018, the Quartet commissioned and premiered a new collaborative work at the Music Box Village.
The Polymnia Quartet has performed for New Orleans Opera Association’s productions of Maria de Buenos Aires and As One, which they also performed with the Des Moines Metro Opera. Educational collaborations have included masterclasses for the Birdfoot Festival in New Orleans and a side-by-side with the Magnolia Concert Society Chamber Orchestra in Gulfport, MS. They currently serve as Ensemble-in-Residence for the New Orleans Friends of Music’s "Open Your Ears" educational initiative.
The name “Polymnia” refers to the Greek Muse of hymns and poetry and is a nod to both New Orleans’ Polymnia Street and the celebrated Mardi Gras Krewe of Muses.
Benjamin Hart // violin
Benjamin Hart began playing violin at age 5 in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. He joined the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra as Associate Concertmaster in February, 2013. Benjamin earned a Masters in Music from Indiana University in 2012, where he studied with Alexander Kerr. He received a Bachelors degree with honors from Vanderbilt University, where he studied with Christian Teal. As a chamber musician, Benjamin has been influenced by his studies with members of the Emerson, Takács, Juilliard, Cleveland, Pacifica, Concord, Blair, and American String Quartets.
Kate Withrow // violin
The daughter of a Kenner native, Kate Withrow began her studies with the violin at the age of five in Austin, Texas. She was first trained in the Suzuki Method and then progressed under the guidance of Leonard Posner, winning the 1999 Pearl Amster Young Artist Competition. She then continued her studies with Andrzej Grabiec at the University of Houston and Mauricio Fuks at Indiana University. After the completion of a Performer’s Diploma at Indiana University, she was selected to be a regular member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra for the 2006-2007 season. That same year, she won a position in the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to frequently working with students in the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras, she is on faculty at the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts, the Young Artist Academy, and also teaches violin lessons in her home studio in New Orleans.
Amelia Clingman // viola
Amelia Clingman graduated from UMass Amherst with a BM in violin performance, and in 2008 she completed her Master’s degree in viola performance at the New England Conservatory. She has been a participant in the Killington, Musicorda, Heifetz, and Kneisel Hall music festivals, and served as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center from 2007-2009. During her time in Boston, she performed with various groups including the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, and as a substitute with the New World Symphony. In 2014, she was named a Quarterfinalist in the 14th Primrose International Viola Competition. During the summer, Amelia holds the position of Principal Viola at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon. Amelia joined the Louisiana Philharmonic orchestra in 2008 and lives in New Orleans. Teachers include Marylou Speaker Churchill, James Buswell, Ed Gazouleas, Carol Rodland, and Kathryn Lockwood.
Philip Von Maltzahn // cello
Cellist Philip von Maltzahn studied at Indiana University and the Eastman School of Music. He was the cellist of the Degas Quartet and Assistant Principal Cello of Greensboro Symphony. A passionate music educator and cello teacher, Philip has taught cello and coached chamber music at the Eastman School of Music, Syracuse University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Furman University, and Appalachian State University. He taught traditional strings and chamber music at the Levine School of Music in Washington, DC. Philip currently teaches cello and strings at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music and is a faculty instructor at Loyola University in New Orleans.