St. Lawrence String Quartet

The Canadian St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) was founded in 1989 and gained international attention in 1992 when it won both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York. Of the original members, violinist Geoff Nuttall and violist Lesley Robertson remain part of the ensemble; cellist Christopher Costanza has been a member of the SLSQ since 2003, and in 2015 violinist Owen Dalby became the latest new arrival. The St. Lawrence String Quartet, which is famed for its spontaneity and energetic performances, has been performing around the world for the past 25 years. Since 1998 it has been the ensemble-in-residence at Stanford University, where the four players also serve as teachers and pursue interdisciplinary exchanges with other artists and scientists. The SLSQ’s repertoire ranges from Viennese classicism to the present. In recent seasons the ensemble has been focusing on the work of Joseph Haydn. The SLSQ has also increasingly devoted itself to world premieres. John Adams composed his First String Quartet for them in 2009 and, in 2011-12, Absolute Jest, which we hear on the present program as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Summer 2015 European tour with performances of the work in Lucerne, Great Britain, Germany, and Romania; Osvaldo Golijov dedicated his Qohelet, which premiered in 2011, to the SLSQ. In the 2015-16 season the SLSQ will perform at Carnegie Hall in New York, in Vancouver and Toronto, at the Spoleto Festival, and in various American cities, and it will conduct a residency at the University of Maryland. The SLSQ is a winner of Canada’s Juno Award; its recording of the string quartets of Robert Schumann received the German Record Critics’ Prize.

August 2015