Established in 1989, the ST. LAWRENCE STRING QUARTET earned international recognition within a few years, winning both the Banff Quartet Competition and the Young Concert Artists audition in 1992. The group has since developed an undisputed reputation as a truly world class chamber ensemble. Called “witty, buoyant, and wickedly attentive (The Gazette, Montreal), with a “peerless” sense of ensemble (Financial Times, London), the quartet is celebrated for its “smoldering intensity” (Washington Post), and “flexibility, dramatic fire and… hint of rock ’n’ roll energy” (Los Angeles Times). SLSQ performs internationally and has served as Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University since 1998.
The St. Lawrence continues to build its reputation for imaginative and spontaneous music-making, through an energetic commitment to the great established quartet literature as well as the championing of new works by such composers as John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Ezequiel Viñao, and Jonathan Berger. In summer 2015, the quartet toured Europe with the San Francisco Symphony, performing composer John Adams’ Absolute Jest under the baton of conductor Michael Tilson Thomas for audiences in the UK, Germany, Romania, and Switzerland. During the summer season, SLSQ is proud to continue its long association with the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC.
The Quartet’s residency at Stanford includes working with music students as well as extensive collaborations with other faculty and departments, using music to explore myriad topics. Recent collaborations have involved the School of Medicine, the School of Education, and the Law School. In addition to their appointment at Stanford, the SLSQ are visiting artists at the University of Toronto. The foursome’s passion for opening up musical arenas to players and listeners alike is evident in their annual summer chamber music seminar at Stanford and their many forays into the depths of musical meaning with preeminent music educator Robert Kapilow.
Lesley Robertson and Geoff Nuttall are founding members of the group, and hail from Edmonton, Alberta, and London, Ontario, respectively. Christopher Costanza is from Utica, NY, and joined the group in 2003. Owen Dalby, from the San Francisco Bay area, joined in 2015. All four members of the quartet live and teach at Stanford University in California.