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Chamber Music Seminar Instructors

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. Since winning both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1992, the quartet has delighted audiences with its spontaneous, passionate, and dynamic performances. 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.”

2020 Guest Artists & Faculty


2019 Guest Artists & Faculty

Each summer, the SLSQ welcomes guests to join the Seminar’s faculty. The 2019 faculty includes Asbjørn Nørgaard (viola), Frederik Øland (violin), Maria Lambros (viola), Michael Kannen (cello), Pedja Muzijevic (piano), Stephen Prutsman (piano), Paul Groves (tenor), and Alasdair Tait (cello). Special guest presentors include Samuel Zygmuntowicz (luthier).

Guest Presenter

Samuel Zygmuntowicz, luthier

Violin maker Samuel Zygmuntowicz was already a prize-winning sculptor before beginning his instrument-making studies at age 13. He is based in Brooklyn, NY, and has made instruments by advance commission for performers such as Cho-Liang Lin, Joshua Bell, Maxim Vengerov, Yo-Yo Ma, Leila Josefowicz, David Finckel, and the Emerson String Quartet. A 1994 violin that he made for Isaac Stern set a record for the highest auction price paid for a musical instrument by a living maker. The Harper Collins book The Violin Makerdocuments his making of a violin for Eugene Drucker.

Samuel is a graduate of the Salt Lake City Violin Making School, and studied advanced making and restoration with Carl Becker and René Morel. His faithful copies of classic violins won early acclaim, and he has designed many personal models as well. He has worked closely with acoustic researchers and is often on staff at both the violin making and violin acoustics workshops at Oberlin College. With Strad3D, he has brought together an inspiring group of scientists, violin makers, musicians, filmmakers, and designers.


Guest Faculty

Paul Groves, tenor

Paul Groves begins his 2018/2019 season at Opera de Lyon for performances as Faust in Boito’s Mefistofele. He made his debut at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Taiwan in November 2018 in one of his signature roles as Candide. Groves made another important debut in 2018 in his first performances as Herod in Salome with the Spoleto Festival USA. A veteran of the concert stage, in the 2018/19 season Groves appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Stravinsky’s Persephone with Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Indianapolis Symphony for Bruckner’s Te Deum with Krzysztof Urbanski, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Donald Runnicles.

Michael Kannen, cello

Cellist Michael Kannen has distinguished himself as a musician and educator of uncommon accomplishment who is comfortable in widely diverse musical situations and venues. He was a founding member of the Brentano String Quartet and for seven years performed with that group on concert stages around the world, on radio and television, and on recordings. During those first seven years, the Brentano Quartet was awarded the first Cleveland Quartet Award, the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, and the Royal Philharmonic Society's award for best debut recital in England for the 1997/1998 season. With the Brentano Quartet, Mr. Kannen appeared regularly in such venues as Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Library of Congress in Washington, Wigmore Hall in London, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Chatelet Theater in Paris, and the Sydney Opera House.

Maria Lambros, viola

Violist Maria Lambros has performed as a chamber musician throughout the world in venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, London's Wigmore Hall, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, New York's Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. She was a member of the renowned Ridge String Quartet, which was nominated for the 1993 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance for their recording of the Dvořák Piano Quintets with pianist Rudolf Firkusny. The recording won Europe's prestigious Diapason d'Or in the same year. She was also a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Meliora String Quartet, which was Quartet-in-Residence at the Spoleto Festivals of the U.S., Italy, and Australia, and which recorded Mendelssohn's Octet with the Cleveland Quartet on the Telarc label. She was most recently a member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, which held residences at Harvard University and New York’s Town Hall and is currently the violist with the New York based chamber ensemble, La Fenice.

Pedja Muzijevicpiano

Pianist Pedja Muzijevic has toured extensively as soloist with orchestras and as a recitalist throughout eastern and western Europe, Great Britain, Canada, the United States, South America, Australia, and Asia. A native of Sarajevo, his artistic curiosity has led him to explore both the music of the 18th and 19th centuries on period instruments and the music of contemporary composers such as Knussen, Carter, Cage, Henze, Nancarrow, Crumb, Adès, and many others. His many festival engagements include, among others, performances at Tanglewood, Spoleto USA, Mostly Mozart, Newport, OK Mozart, Bridgehampton, Bay Chamber Concerts, San Miguel de Allende, Aldeburgh, Lucerne, Holland, Melbourne, Aix-en-Provence, Dubrovnik, Merano, and Bratislava festivals. Mr. Muzijevic’s recording Sonatas and Other Interludesis available on Albany Records—it juxtaposes music for prepared piano by John Cage with composers ranging from W. F. Bach to Liszt.

Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola

Asbjørn Nørgaard has established himself as one of the most sought after viola players in Denmark and is the recipient of multiple accolades, including Jacob Gade’s large music grant and Sonning Music Scholarship. First and foremost, Asbjørn is a vivid chamber musician and a founder of the Danish String Quartet as well as Inviolata, a viola-accordion duo. With these two ensembles, he is prize a winner in several national and international competitions and has recorded numerous cds, the latest being a recording of all J.S. Bach’s Viola da Gamba Sonatas. In addition to this, Asbjørn is an experienced orchestral player, and has led the viola sections of the Copenhagen Philharmonic and the Danish National Chamber Orchestra. He has studied in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Berlin and graduated from the soloist program at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 2013 performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante at the Radio Hall in Copenhagen. At the moment, Asbjørn is learning to speak Portuguese and his favorite writer is Thomas Mann. He is a huge fan of encyclopedias and is always reading something about everything.

Frederik Øland, violin

Frederik Øland was educated by Serguei Azizian in Copenhagen and Ulf Wallin in Berlin. In 2009 at the age of 23 he won the position as concert master at Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra. In the same year, he was employed as a teacher of violin and chamber music at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Frederik has been awarded various Danish prizes such as grants from Jacob Gade Foundation, Victor Borge Foundation, and Léonie Sonning Foundation. He has appeared several times as a soloist, most recently with his colleagues in the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra. In his spare time, Frederik relaxes in his apartment in the Vesterbro-borough in central Copenhagen.

Stephen Prutsman, piano

Stephen Prutsman has been described as one of the most innovative musicians of his time. Moving easily from classical to jazz to world music styles as a pianist, composer and conductor, Prutsman continues to explore and seek common ground and relationships in the music of all cultures and languages. From 2004-2007 Stephen was Artistic Partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he conducted concertos from the keyboard, performed in chamber ensembles, conducted works of living composers, developed and arranged collaborations for their Engine 408 series of contemporary and world music, and wrote several new works for the orchestra. From 2009 – 2012 he was the Artistic Director of the Cartagena International Festival of Music, South America’s largest festival of its kind, programming and curating concerts with themes ranging from Mozart celebrations, to eclectic evenings of folk and popular music of the Americas, to hybrid programs fusing art and dance music of multiple musical dimensions.

Alasdair Tate, cello

Scottish cellist Alasdair Tait has performed in many of the world’s major concert halls and is also sought after as a chamber music coach. He was Head of Chamber Music at Guildhall School of Music until 2016 when he decided to devote his attention to the promotion and career development of young artists through his role as Chief Executive of Young Classical Artists Trust. He previously held the posts of Director of Chamber Music at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester, Artistic Director of the RNCM International Chamber Music Festival, Professor of Chamber Music at the International Chamber Music Institute of the Reina Sofia Conservatoire in Madrid, and has been a regular professor on the Britten-Pears International Quartet Academy and the European Chamber Music Academy. He is frequently invited as jury member on international competitions such as Melbourne, London, and Banff International String Quartet Competitions. Most recently, he has given masterclasses at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Glen Gould School in Canada, New England Conservatory and,Stanford University in USA, and in Australia, Japan and Singapore as well as throughout Europe.

Previous Faculty and Guest Speakers

The Chamber Music Seminar's previous faculty has included:

John Adams, composer

Tyler Duncan, baritone

Martin Beaver, violin

Pamela Frank, violin

June Goldsmith, music educator, concert presenter, and broadcaster

Osvaldo Golijov, composer

Gryphon Trio: Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin; Roman Borys, cello; James Parker, piano

Henk Guittart, conductor and coach

Matt Haimovitz, cello

Jesse Irons, violinist and founding member of A Far Cry

Michael Kannen, cello

Rob Kapilow, composer and commentator

John Lad

Maria Lambros, viola

Nina Lee, cello

François Malo, bowmaker

Bill McGlaughlin, composer and pianist

Douglas McNabney, viola

Pedja Muzijevic, piano

Howard Nelson, physical therapist

Tara Helen O'Connor, flute

Daniel Phillips, violin

Stephen Prutsman, piano

Masumi Per Rostad, violin

Mikael Ringquist, percussionist

Sebastian Ruth, violin/viola

Stephen Sano, conductor and choral studies faculty, Stanford University

Scott St. John, violin (former member of SLSQ)

Erika Switzer, piano

Alasdair Tait, cello

Gregory Wait, music director, Schola Cantorum, and voice faculty, Stanford University

Dr. Lisa Wong, guest speaker, author, pediatrician

Georges Zeisel, director and founder, ProQuartet, Paris

Samuel Zygmuntowicz, luthier