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Chamber Music Seminar

Left to Right: Lesley Robertson, Owen Dalby, Christopher Costanza, Geoff Nuttall

St. Lawrence String Quartet

Seminar Concerts and events are free to the public.

2016 Seminar: Saturday, June 18 to Sunday, June 26.


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 aspiring 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.

Applications will be available beginning December 15, 2015. Application deadline will be February 1, 2016. For more application information see: Enrollment

A typical day at the seminar is packed with activities. 

  • Morning Choral Session
  • Session 1 – Coaching with an SLSQ member
  • Session 2 – Rehearsal period
  • Lunch and conversation in the Campbell Courtyard
  • Session 3 – Coaching with guest faculty
  • Session 4 – Rehearsal period
  • Masterclass with SLSQ and guest faculty
  • Dinner – On your own!
  • Optional evening sight reading

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, New York City

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

2015 Seminar Highlights

The 2015 Seminar brought together 73 participants from around the world to join with the St. Lawrence String Quartet and esteemed guest faculty members. It was an exciting year with four free concerts held at the Bing Concert Hall, as well as continuing the Azure Family Concert series for families of children and young adults on the autism spectrum. World-renowned composer John Adams joined the SLSQ on stage for A Conversation with John Adams, and commentator June Goldsmith interviewed the SLSQ about the beginnings of the quartet. For details about past seminars, please visit the Seminar Archives.

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. 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 Friends of Music at Stanford with special thanks to Peter and Helen Bing, the Stanford Arts Institute, and Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies.


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Last modified on: 
Thursday, October 22, 2015