Emerging String Quartet Program

Program Description

The St. Lawrence String Quartet — whose ongoing exploration of nontraditional venues and new audiences was developed, in part, by early community outreach opportunities — observed a need for similar training programs for the next generation of emerging artists. In response to this need, the SLSQ developed the Emerging String Quartet Program (ESQP).

The ESQP is a workshop focused on community outreach for young professional musicians, in which emerging ensembles are invited to Stanford for a residency of one to two weeks. During the residency, the musicians receive coaching from the SLSQ and experience an intense schedule performing both on- and off- campus for a variety of schools, community groups and Silicon Valley businesses. The musicians, already highly accomplished presenters and performers, are provided rare opportunities to interact with the audiences to develop both their skills as performers and as community builders.

Since the program launched in 2009, the greater Stanford community has benefited from the electricity, passion and excellence of these extraordinary young ensembles while the musicians have gained valuable experience presenting to a wide variety of audiences in a short period of time. The ensembles have gone on to develop rich connections with their communities both in the U.S. and abroad.

On-campus venues have included the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, libraries, medical facilities, and research labs, as well as graduate and undergraduate dorms. Each emerging quartet is presented in one formal recital at Campbell Recital Hall, an event that is free and open to the public. Beginning in 2013 the SLSQ and ESQP began presenting Azure Family Concerts, performing music programs for families with children and young adults on the Autism spectrum.

Watch this page for news about the spring 2019 Emerging String Quartet.  

Make a gift to support the Emerging String Quartet Program.


Winter 2019

Omer String Quartet


Comprising violinists Mason Yu and Erica Tursi, violist Jinsun Hong, and cellist Alex Cox, the Omer Quartet is a leader among today’s young string quartets. Most recently first prizewinners of the Young Concert Artists Auditions, the quartet came into prominence in 2013 when it received Grand Prize and gold medal at the Fischoff National Competition. Since then, they received top prize at the XI Premio Paolo Borciani Competition in Italy, second prize at the Trondheim Competition in Norway, and special prize at the Bordeaux International Competition in France. The quartet makes its debuts next season in the Peter Jay Sharp Concert of YCA in New York at Merkin Concert Hall as well as in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center.  

The quartet has performed with internationally renowned artists such as Kim Kashkashian, Clive Greensmith, Eugene Drucker, Cho-Liang Lin, the Assad Brothers, the Borromeo String Quartet, and collaborated with composers such as Sean Shepherd and Perry Goldstein. They were invited to the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, McGill International String Quartet Academy, the Ravinia Steans Institute, and the Perlman Music Program. They have also served on the faculty of New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School. During the summer of 2018, the Omer Quartet will serve as Chamber Ensemble in Residence at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival.

Fall 2018

Puck Quartet


The Puck Quartet, drawing inspiration from their mischievous Shakespearean namesake, seeks to bring a capricious spirit and evocative language to music. Formed by chance in 2013 at Purchase College Conservatory of Music, they discovered a shared passion and sense of humor in their approach to chamber music, and have been performing together ever since.

In 2016, the Puck Quartet was selected to participate in the St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar, and was invited to perform in their International Showcase at Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University. In past years, the quartet has participated in the Robert Mann String Quartet Institute at the Manhattan School of Music and the Beethoven Institute at Mannes, and was the featured artist of the inaugural concert of the “Under the Spire” concert series in Southport, Connecticut. In 2014, supported by an award from the Marx Family Foundation, Puck gave the world premiere performance of “Ascension”, a new work by composer Jason Eckardt. The Puck Quartet has participated in masterclasses with the Decoda Chamber Ensemble as well as with members of the American, Brentano, and Orion String Quartets, , including a live-streamed master class with the Miro Quartet at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Upcoming engagements include a feature concert at the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society with clarinetist Sebastian Lambertz, and the premiere of a new work by composer Nick Virzi.

Spring 2018


Described by one pretty important radio guy as “not classical...but not not classical," invoke continues to successfully dodge even the most valiant attempts at genre classification. The band’s other not-nots encompass traditions from across America, including bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes, jazz, and minimalism. invoke weaves all of these traditions together to create truly unique contemporary repertoire, written by and for the group.

invoke’s 2015 debut release “Souls in the Mud” begins with original works that conjure images of America, including the fast-paced opening track Travesty and The Trace (inspired by bourbon whiskey). The third and title track, Souls in the Mud, is an American transformation of a 16th century motet featuring banjo, mandolin and a bluegrass-influenced boot-stompin’ finale. The EP is rounded out by invoke accompanying a historic recording of a haunting traditional English ballad and two compositions by prolific American composer Danny Clay.

Currently Young Professional String Quartet in Residence at the University of Texas at Austin, invoke has also been selected as Artists in Residence at Strathmore, the Emerging Young Artist Quartet at Interlochen, and the Fellowship String Quartet at Wintergreen Performing Arts. In 2016, the band received First Prize in the Savvy Musician in ACTION Chamber Competition, and was chosen as Finalist in the Concert Artist Guild Competition.

ESQP Events

The Puck Quartet

Benjamin Britten (1913–1976): Three Divertimenti for string quartet (1936)
  I. March
  II. Waltz
  II. Burlesque

Maurice Ravel (1875–1937): String Quartet in F major (1903)
  I. Allegro moderato. Très doux
  II. Assez vif. Très rythmé
  III. Très lent
  IV. Vif et agité

Friday, October 5, 2018 at 12:30 pm - Campbell Recital Hall

See free events at Stanford on our Outreach page.

Donate to support the ESQP here.