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First violinist Carol Lahti joined Lyra Quartet in 1989.  She comes from a family of professional musicians and has played violin most of her life. She received her Master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music as a scholarship pupil of Charles Castleman and attended the Aspen Music Festival as the recipient of a three-year fellowship to study with Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki. A six-year member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Carol served two of those years as concertmaster. Currently the assistant concertmaster of the Chicago Sinfonietta, she has performed numerous European and American tours with the orchestra. She has recorded for the Fanfare and Cedille record labels, and can be heard on the WFMT Live from Studio One broadcast series. Additionally, she is the concertmaster of the Kenosha Symphony. Carol performs frequently with jazz and society bands in Chicago; she is particularly proud of her affiliation with the Chris Sarlas Orchestra, one of the premiere ensembles in the area. She also enjoys playing in theater orchestras, appearing with ballet companies such as the Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theater and the Bolshoi Ballet, as well as in many Broadway musicals and shows. As a freelance artist, Carol performs with several orchestras in the Chicago area including Symphony II, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, and the Woodstock Mozart Festival. Recently, she has appeared on several WTTW Soundstage concerts with Lyle Lovett, Burt Bacharach, Ronald Isley, Amy Grant and Peter Cetera. Carol has also been seen performing with Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow and Clay Aiken.



Violinist Elizabeth Coffman joined Lyra Quartet as second violinist in 2004.  She is currently a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta and also performed with the Louisville Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. For several years she was a violinist with the Lockerbie String Quartet, which was in residence at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Butler University. She holds degrees in violin performance from DePauw University and Indiana University, where her teachers included Herman Berg, Henryk Kowalski and Tadeusz Wronski. Later, Elizabeth returned to Indiana University for further study in viola with Abraham Skernick and Csaba Erdelyi.

After serving on the faculties of DePauw University, as adjunct professor of viola, chamber music and music theory, and the University of Indianapolis as violin/viola instruction, Coffman moved to the Chicago area. There, she began the string program at Ascension School in Oak Park. Now in its 12th year, more than 50 students study a string instrument and play in one of the school’s three orchestras under her direction.  Elizabeth is also assistant professor of music at Concordia College, where she teaches violin and viola.

Violist Vannia Phillips
joined the Lyra Quartet in 1996.  She received a Bachelor of Music in viola performance from Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Jeff Irvine and Lynne Ramsey. She later studied with Rami Solomonov at DePaul University, completing her Master of Music in performance. She also holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova University.

From 1995-1996, Vannia was violist of the Wichita State graduate string quartet and a member of the Wichita Symphony.  From 1996-2004, Vannia was the violist of Lyra Quartet, the Quartet-in-Residence at Carthage College.  She held the position of principal violist of the Kenosha Symphony  from 1996-2004.  She has been a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta since 1998.  Vannia performs often with the Chicago Opera Theater, an ensemble in which she had the honor of working with composer and conductor John Adams during the Chicago premier of his opera The Flowering Tree, and most recently performed in the Chicago premier of Charpentier’s Médée.  She was the violist in the string quartet of Chicago production of The Color Purple.  She has worked with Ars Viva, Fulcrum Point, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, the Center for Black Music Research of Columbia College (CBMR), and Elgin Symphony.  She has recorded numerous time with the Sinfonietta and CBMR.  During her first eight years in Chicago, she frequently escaped its winter weather by taking trips down to Florida, performing with the Key West Symphony.

A lover of period instrument music, Vannia took advantage of the opportunity to work with Marilyn McDonald, playing in the baroque orchestra at Oberlin Conservatory.  She later studied at the International Baroque Festival at Longy, where she performed in master classes with Elizabeth Blumenstock and Dana Maiben.  In Chicago, she has played baroque viola with Baroque Band, Chicago Opera Theater, and Urban Baroque.   She has performed on WFMT with the Baroque Band.  Vannia can be heard on the Baroque Band’s recording of Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber’s Mensa Sonora and the soon to be released recording of the complete Overtures by English composer Maurice Greene (1696-1755).  These recordings are on the Cedille label.

Vannia also enjoys contemporary, popular music.  She has recorded and performed with local rock group Sleeping at Last, and can be heard on recordings with Mono and Lesser Birds of Paradise.  She has performed with artists Vince Gill, Ben Vereen, Al Jareau, Smoky Robinson, Brian Wilson, and Barry Manilow.  She appeared with the rapper Commom on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and with Josh Groban on Oprah.



Cellist Andrew Snow joined the Lyra Quartet in 1993.  A native of Chicago, Andrew Snow holds a Bachelor Degree in Cello Performance from Northern Illinois University, where he was a student of Marc Johnson, the cellist of the world renowned Vermeer String Quartet, and a Master Degree in cello Performance from the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU (Southern Methodist University) where he was a student of the late Russian cellist Lev Aronson.


He attended the Summer Cleveland Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival , where he had lessons with cellist Alan Harris; and has performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival. He also studied with Chicago Symphony's cellist Richard Hirschl and Lyric Opera of Chicago's cellist Marijane Carr. Mr. Snow is an active recitalist, chamber musician, orchestra musician, and teacher.


With his wife, pianist Beatriz Helguera- Snow, he has performed in Mexico City and Guadalajara in many recital halls including Sala Carlos Chavez (as part of the International Music Series), Sala Ponce in the Palace of Fine Arts (Bellas Artes) and Sala Julian Carrillo of UNAM Radio (University of Mexico Radio). He is a member of the Chicago Ensemble, where he has performed numerous times on classical WFMT radio in live performance broadcasts.


Mr. Snow is a member of Chicago Sinfonietta, Lake Forest Symphony (assistant principal cellist), Chicago Philarmonic, and has played with Grant Park Symphony, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Chicago Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Milwaukee Symphony, Chicago String Ensemble, Ars Viva, Chicago Symphonic Pops (with whom he traveled to Taiwan as principal cellist), Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Lyric Opera, Plano Texas Chamber Orchestra (principal cello), Filarmonica Ciudad de Mexico (in Mexico City) and many more. He has also played with the Contemporary Chamber Players, Fulcrum Point, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and has been in orchestras accompanying names such as Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti and many more. As a teacher, he was department head of the cello department at Betty Haag Suzuki School from 1987 to 1997, where he taught dozens of young cellists and prepared them for their annual Orchestra Hall concert.


Since 1997, Andrew has had a private cello studio in Arlington Heights. In 2006 he was recruited to join the faculty at Trinity International University (Deerfield, Illinois).