Geoff Nuttall

1965 - 2022



We are devastated to communicate the news that violinist Geoff Nuttall has died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56.  

Most of you viewing this knew Geoff as a universally admired and beloved presence in North American chamber music.  He founded and led the internationally-acclaimed St. Lawrence String Quartet for over three decades.  He was also director of chamber music for Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, SC), and served on the faculty of Stanford University since 1998.


Here is the official statement from St. Lawrence String Quartet:

With utmost sadness, today we said goodbye to our friend and colleague Geoff Nuttall. He died at age 56, with his wife, Livia, at his side. Geoff was an inspired artist whose loyalty to his chosen passions and people was legendary. He fought cancer as he lived his life, brimming with optimism and tirelessly showing up for the things he loved the most: spending time with his wife Livia and playing sports with his boys; collecting vinyl LP’s, building objects with his hands, and sharing the pleasures of analog experiences of all kinds; nurturing native plants and gardening; and seeking in the string quartet an ever more expansive universe of human expression. Geoff had an energetic and spiritual connection to music that rubbed off on anyone lucky enough to witness him play. He constantly inspired us to heights we never dreamed of. In his home bases here at Stanford University; at the Spoleto USA Festival in Charleston, SC; in Canada and in many other places around the world, he touched countless lives through his performances, teaching, advocacy and friendship. We will miss him every single day, but feel immensely grateful to have been his fellow traveler.


—The St. Lawrence String Quartet

Owen Dalby, Lesley Robertson, Christopher Costanza


Please keep his family (wife Livia, and sons Jack and Ellis), along with his SLSQ colleagues Owen, Lesley, and Chris in your thoughts.  We have no further details to share at this time, except our own heartbreak, along with deep gratitude for Geoff’s glorious artistry, humanity, and friendship, which we will carry in our hearts forever.  

David Rowe & Arielle Gronner



Geoff’s family has created The Geoff Nuttall Memorial Fund to advance Dr. Christopher Chen’s cancer research at Stanford University. Geoff was able to continue living his life as fully as possible under the outstanding and thoughtful care of Dr. Chen. In lieu of flowers, please consider a tax-deductible donation, which can be made online at by selecting “Other Stanford Designation” and entering The Geoff Nuttall Memorial Fund in the “Other” text box, or by check payable to Stanford University with The Geoff Nuttall Memorial Fund indicated on the memo line, mailed to Development Services, P.O. Box 20466, Stanford, CA 94309, or by phone at 650-725-4360.