Geoff Nuttall discusses "Haydn Discovery" - An ongoing project from the
St. Lawrence String Quartet
31 December 2013
On the eve of a new year and a new quartet member, the St. Lawrence String Quartet is profiled in their hometown newspaper!
20 November 2013
The St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) has selected violinist Mark Fewer to succeed the departing Scott St. John, beginning on January 1, 2014.
As a fellow Canadian, Fewer and the SLSQ are already well-acquainted, and in 2011 Mark substituted for both St. John (Spring) and Geoff Nuttall (Fall) during their brief paternity leaves. Fewer will re-locate from Montreal’s McGill University, where he been Associate Professor of violin since 2007, and will join his new colleagues at Stanford University.
Fewer is a highly-regarded soloist and chamber musician, whose performances of both classical and jazz have been described as “genre-bending”. He has appeared widely in North America and also abroad throughout Europe, Australia, and the Far East. His recording of “Changing Seasons” – a jazz violin concerto composed for him by Phil Dwyer – won a 2012 Juno Award. He was artistic director of the Scotia Festival of Music from 2004-2009, and is the founding director of the SweetWater Music Festival in Ontario.
The SLSQ was founded in 1989 at the University of Toronto, and in 1992 won both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. They are now regarded among the world’s premier string quartets, and are in demand for over 100 performances each season. The quartet’s mission is to bring every piece of music to the audience in vivid color, with pronounced communication and teamwork, and great respect to the composer. Alex Ross of The New Yorker magazine writes, "the St. Lawrence are remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection." Since 1998 the SLSQ has held the position of Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University.
Founding SLSQ first violinist Geoff Nuttall issued the following statement:
“We are thrilled to welcome Mark Fewer to the SLSQ party! I have been a huge fan of his as both a violinist and musician since hanging out in Canada in the old days. His imagination, inquisitive spirit, incredible command of the violin, and dedication to quartet life (rehearsing!), are all important parts of who he is. We have experienced it all first hand while playing over thirty concerts together while Scott or I was on paternity leave in the last couple of years. (Julia and Ellis are here to prove it.)
Lesley, Chris and I are very excited to have Mark Fewer along with us for the next chapter (twenty five years!?) of the SLSQ.”
Mark Fewer added: "I have been a fan of the SLSQ since the first time I heard them live over 20 years ago. Their commitment to music making at the very highest level is combined with an unparalleled sensitivity to the musical moment. I am honored and thrilled to have the chance to contribute to their legacy for many years to come."
And Jonathan Berger, Stanford University’s Denning Family Provostial Professor remarked: “the St. Lawrence String Quartet have had a transformative effect on the University community at-large, and have been integral to the critical role the arts play at Stanford. The crown jewels of the music program, the quartet's artistry, collegiality, and passion for chamber music is felt in concert, teaching, and diverse outreach activities. We look forward to many more years of their greatness!”
15 October 2013
16 September 2013
SLSQ continues to connect amateur and professional musicans at annual Stanford Chamber Music Seminar
19 March 2013
St. Lawrence String Quartet announces pending personnel change
The St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) will undergo a personnel change when violinist Scott St. John departs at the end of 2013. St. John is relocating to Canada with his family. The SLSQ will commence a search immediately, with the goal of identifying St. John’s successor by early fall 2013, and completing the transition by January, 2014.
Continuing SLSQ members Geoff Nuttall, Lesley Robertson, and Christopher Costanza have issued the following statement: “we are all sorry to see Scott leave the quartet -- he has been a substantial contributor to the most musically and personally rewarding of SLSQ's 24 years -- but we respect his decision and bid farewell with warm wishes. While his shoes will be hard to fill, we remain passionately committed to the great adventure that is quartet life. We eagerly look forward to continuing and building upon our commitments at Stanford, our worldwide touring, and projects with diverse composers and collaborators.”
In commenting on his decision St. John said: “working with the SLSQ for the past seven years has been a fantastic experience. Every member of SLSQ is an inspired colleague and also a friend, and one could not ask for a more supportive environment at Stanford, or a more thrilling concert dynamic within the ensemble. While the decision to leave has been difficult, recently my own family obligations have become more important, and I look forward to being a full-time father when my family is settled in Canada.”
Jonathan Berger, Stanford University’s Denning Family Provostial Professor added: “the St. Lawrence String Quartet have had a transformative effect on the University community at-large, and have been integral to the critical role the arts play at Stanford. The crown jewels of the music program, the quartet's artistry, collegiality, and passion for chamber music is felt in concert, teaching, and diverse outreach activities. We look forward to many more years of their greatness!”
2 April 2012
In perhaps the most high-profile appearances of their 22 year career, the St. Lawrence String Quartet joined forces with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas to unleash John Adams’ latest work, “Absolute Jest”. It was a thrill to be in the audience for all three San Francisco performances, and then again (following appearances in Chicago and Ann Arbor) at Carnegie Hall, for a piece which confirms Adams as today’s master of classical composition – effortlessly weaving snippets of late Beethoven into a grand tapestry which is uniquely his own. As the New York Timesconfirmed: “This 25-minute work takes about a half dozen motifs from Beethoven scores, mostly scherzos from the late quartets and piano sonatas, and uses them as raw materials to generate a pulsing, fidgety one-movement work that is Adams through and through. The brilliant St. Lawrence String Quartet dispatched the bustling solo parts, and the audience erupted in bravos.”
The St. Lawrence String Quartet premiered a new work by Osvaldo Golijov at Stanford University. The work, entitled "Kohelet," was inspired by the Book of Ecclesiastes.
7 April 2011
Nonesuch to Release John Adams’s "Son of Chamber Symphony / String Quartet" on May 31Nonesuch Records will release John Adams’s String Quartet, performed by St. Lawrence String Quartet(for whom the work was composed in 2008), on May 31, 2011. The album is Nonesuch 523014, and will also include Adams' "Son of Chamber Symphony" performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), led by the composer. This is the first recording of both works.