Four musicians pose for a photo holding their string instruments

St. Lawrence String Quartet welcomed back as resident artists at ASU

By

Lynne MacDonald

The renowned St. Lawrence String Quartet returns to Arizona State University as resident artists in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre’s Visiting Quartet Residency Program.

Described by The Washington Post as “fearless musicians whose spontaneity stretches past conventional interpretation and probes the music’s imaginative limits,” this is the fifth time the quarter has been in residence with the school's program. The group served as the inaugural quartet-in-residence when the school first launched the Visiting Quartet Residency Program, now in its 16th year.

"Without the St. Lawrence String Quartet, we might not have this incredible program today,” said Jonathan Swartz, professor in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre and founding artistic director of the Visiting Quartet Residency Program. “They have helped define what a residency at ASU could be, and we owe a great deal of credit for the overall success of our program to them.”

According to The New Yorker, "no other North American quartet plays the music of Haydn with more intelligence, expressivity and force.”

The Grammy-nominated quartet are ensemble-in-residence at Stanford University, where they teach privately and direct the chamber music program. Members are violinists Geoff Nuttall and Owen Dalby, Lesley Robertson on viola and Christopher Costanza on cello.

Each year the School of Music, Dance and Theatre chooses a different major professional string quartet for the residency. Quartet members also serve as teachers during the program, which integrates a comprehensive chamber music curriculum with coaching by top musicians in the field.

The resident artists work with students on projects designed to form the basis of the chamber music curriculum. Over the course of a four-year undergraduate degree, students will have developed relationships with four professional string quartets, while covering all the major pillars of chamber music literature.

Last semester, members of the St. Lawrence String Quartet worked with ASU students on the music of Haydn through virtual master classes and coaching. The quartet will follow up with the students in person when they come to campus in January, as well as begin working with them on new curricular projects.

For the residency program’s first spring concert, “Haydn Extraordinaire,” the quartet will present three of Haydn’s famous Op. 76 quartets — No. 5, No. 2 (Fifths) and No. 3 (Emperor). 

The second concert will celebrate two Viennese prodigies — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Erich Wolfgang Korngold — featuring Mozart’s K. 428 and Korngold’s quartet No. 3.

Tickets are available online through the Herberger Institute Box Office. Prices are $23 for adults and $10 for students with valid ID.

Spring 2022 concerts


“Haydn Extraordinaire” (Canceled)
7:30–9 p.m. Jan. 21
Katzin Concert Hall
Purchase tickets

“Mozart” and “Korngold”
7:30–9 p.m. April 7
Katzin Concert Hall
Purchase tickets