Chamber Music Seminar

About the Chamber Music Seminar

This 10-day intensive program is designed for those with a serious ongoing interest in chamber music and follows a rigorous schedule of study and performance in a uniquely supportive environment, blending advanced students destined for careers in performance with passionate adult musicians.

During the Seminar, participants receive dynamic instruction from members of the St. Lawrence String Quartet as well as special guest faculty in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. Participants focus on one or two major works in chamber music literature while learning the delicate art of cooperation as part of an intimate group.

The SLSQ Chamber Music Seminar will be held on the Stanford University campus. The Seminar attracts participants from ages 18 to 82, ranging from intermediate to advanced in skill. Though most participants are string players, we also include pianists and wind players with an interest in chamber music. Participants from our previous seminars have overwhelmingly rated their experience outstanding and hoped to return again to enjoy the experience of working with the St. Lawrence String Quartet and our adjunct faculty.

The 2024 Seminar will run from Saturday, June 22 to Sunday, June 30. (Participants are expected to arrive Friday June 21.) Seminar programming will begin Saturday, June 22. 

Applications to the St. Lawrence Chamber Music Seminar open on December 1, 2023.

Preference is given to pre-formed ensembles. Individual applicants are welcome to submit an application but will only be considered after pre-formed ensembles are placed. Enrollment is limited due to space considerations. If accepted, ensembles must attend with the roster of musicians listed on the application.  Please note, we are not able to accommodate Duos. Application fees are non-refundable. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age by June 1, 2024. Stanford students please contact SLSQseminar [at] (SLSQseminar[at]gmail[dot]com)

Email SLSQseminar [at] (SLSQseminar[at]gmail[dot]com) for more information. See additional application information here.

Comments from Participants of the Chamber Music Seminar

I now have so many new ideas and tools to move forward with. Our work will be forever changed by this experience and I see many projects that will be directly influenced by our time at Stanford. – Rachel Desoer, cello, Cecilia String Quartet

The encouragement that we received during the seminar to try to think outside of the box, and to push our boundaries and imaginations, will keep our group striving to always grow and find connections throughout our musical lives. – Caitlin Boyle, viola, Cecilia Quartet

I truly believe there is no other place in the world that combines such an intense commitment to great music making with a spirit of discovery and friendship. – Alex Fortes, violin, A Far Cry

Trying to describe the SLSQ seminar is like trying to describe the Grand Canyon: words fail. I can say it's fun and all-consuming and rewarding, but none of those words really capture what it's like to be immersed in chamber music and marinate in the most energetic and inspiring environment. – Christine Choi, violin, Emergency Physician

About the St. Lawrence String Quartet

The St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) has established itself among the world-class chamber ensembles of its generation. Its mission: bring every piece of music to the audience in vivid color, with pronounced communication and teamwork, and great respect to the composer.

The artists have served on Stanford’s music faculty and as the university’s ensemble-in-residence since 1998. First violinist and founding member Geoff Nuttall began playing the violin at the age of eight after moving to London, Ontario, from Texas. Violist and founding member Lesley Robertson began her training in Canada and met Nuttall in 1980. Cellist Christopher Costanza joined the ensemble in 2003 after performing for many years with the Chicago String Quartet. The newest member of the quartet, violinist Owen Dalby, returned home to the Bay Area to debut in 2015. 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.”

Please visit the official SLSQ website for everything SLSQ. slsqseminar [at] (Email here) for additional information on the 2015 SLSQ Chamber Music Seminar, or join our Mailing List to receive notices about concerts, announcements, and seminar enrollment.

Seminar Sponsors: Stanford Department of Music, the School of Humanities and Sciences, the Office for the Vice President of the Arts, Stanford Live, Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies, and the Friends of Music at Stanford, with special thanks to Peter and Helen Bing.