Beginning with the 2010 season, GEOFF NUTTALL is the Artistic Director for Chamber Music at the Spoleto Festival USA. Geoff began playing the violin at the age of eight after moving to London, Ontario from College Station, Texas. He spent most of his musical studies under the tutelage of Lorand Fenyves at the Banff Centre, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Toronto, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree. Geoff Nuttall co-founded the St. Lawrence String Quartet in 1989, and has since performed as first violinist of the renowned chamber ensemble more than 2,000 times on stages around the world, delighting audiences with the quartet’s brand of technical skill and musical passion. “The St. Lawrence,” writes Alex Ross of The New Yorker, “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.”
Nuttall and the St. Lawrence String Quartet first played Spoleto Festival USA in 1995, and over the years have become welcome regulars in the beloved chamber music series.
The multi-award-winning St. Lawrence String Quartet, in addition to their busy concert and recording schedule, have served as Graduate Ensemble-in-Residence at the Juilliard School, Yale University, and Hartt School of Music, acting as teaching assistants to the Juilliard, Tokyo, and Emerson String Quartets, respectively. Nuttall is now on faculty at Stanford University, where the St. Lawrence String Quartet has been Ensemble-in-Residence since 1999, and makes his home in California’s Bay Area with his wife, violinist Livia Sohn, and their young son, Jack.
In 2005 Nuttall performed Gyorgy Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments for soprano and violin in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with Dawn Upshaw, staged by Peter Sellars. He returned to Zankel Hall the following year for the In Your Ear Too Festival, performing works for solo violin by Biber and a newly commissioned work by Chris Paul Harman. Also in 2006, he was soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic during their Minimalist Jukebox Festival, performing Arvo Pärt’s Tabula Rasa concerto for two violins with Barry Shiffman. In 2008 he joined Dawn Upshaw and Peter Sellars for a revival of Kafka Fragments in New York, Los Angeles, and Berkeley, and will do so again in December 2010 for concerts in London, Brussels, and Rome.