Dover String Quartet Returns

Joel Link and Bryan Lee, Violins | Milena Pajaro-Van de Stadt, Viola | Camden Shaw, Cello

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Sedona Performing Arts Center – 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336

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One of the most sought-after string quartets in the world, the Dover String Quartet finally makes their long awaited return to our stage.

Dover String Quartet

“…the Dover Quartet players have it in them to become the next Guarneri String Quartet – they’re that good.” – The Chicago Tribune

Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the GRAMMY® nominated Dover Quartet has followed a “practically meteoric” (Strings) trajectory to become one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world. In addition to its faculty role as the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with the Kennedy Center, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. The group’s awards include a stunning sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Its prestigious honors include the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award.

The Dover Quartet draws from the lineage of the distinguished Guarneri, Cleveland, and Vermeer quartets. Its members studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where they were mentored extensively by Shmuel Ashkenasi, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, Kenneth Goldsmith, Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, and Peter Wiley. It was at Curtis that the Dover Quartet formed, and its name pays tribute to Dover Beach by fellow Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber.

The Dover Quartet is the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at Curtis. Their faculty residency integrates teaching and mentorship, a robust international performance career, and a cutting-edge digital presence. With this innovative residency, Curtis reinvigorates its tradition of maintaining a top professional string quartet on its faculty, while providing resources for the ensemble to experiment with new technologies and engage audiences through digital means. Working closely with students in the Nina von Maltzahn String Quartet Program, the resident ensemble will recruit the most promising young string quartets and foster their development in order to nurture a new generation of leading professional chamber ensembles.

The Dover Quartet plays on the following instruments and proudly endorses Thomastik-Infeld strings.

Joel Link plays a very fine Peter Guarneri of Mantua violin kindly loaned to him by Irene R. Miller through the Beare’s International Violin Society.
Bryan Lee: Riccardo Antoniazzi, Milan 1904; Samuel Zygmuntowicz, Brooklyn, 2020
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt: unknown maker from the Brescian School, early 18th century
Camden Shaw: Frank Ravatin, France, 2010

Joel Link, Violin

Joel Link is a violinist with the Dover Quartet, the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. Mr. Link is an active soloist and chamber musician; and has been a top prize winner of numerous competitions including the Johansen International Competition in Washington, D.C. and the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in England, for which he was featured in The Strad magazine. Mr. Link has appeared on numerous radio shows, including NPR’s From the Top.

A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Link studied with renowned violinists Joseph Silverstein and Pamela Frank, and served as the Curtis Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster for the 2009–10 season. He has attended music festivals across the globe, including the Ravinia Festival, the Marlboro Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire. As a member of the Dover Quartet, Mr. Link won first prize and every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2013 and the gold medal and grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2010; and performs over 100 concerts around the world annually.

Mr. Link plays a very fine Peter Guarneri of Mantua violin kindly loaned to him by Irene R. Miller through the Beare’s International Violin Society.

Mr. Link joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2020. He also teaches at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.

Bryan Lee, Violin

Bryan Lee is a violinist with the Dover Quartet, the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. Mr. Lee has performed as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Delaware, Lansdowne, and Temple University symphony orchestras, among others. He was awarded the bronze medal at the 2005 Stulberg International String Competition and won second prize at the 2004 Kingsville Young Performers Competition. He has been featured on NPR’s From the Top and has attended Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest, Music from Angel Fire, Encore School for Strings, Sarasota Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and the Perlman Music Program.

Mr. Lee has served as associate concertmaster of Symphony in C and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and as a substitute for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Lee is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Pamela Frank and Victor Danchenko. His previous studies were with Choong-Jin Chang and Soovin Kim. He performs on a 1904 Riccardo Antoniazzi and a 2020 violin by Brooklyn-based maker Samuel Zygmuntowicz.

Mr. Lee joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2020. He also teaches at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.

Milena Pajaro-Van De Stadt, Viola

Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt is the violist of the Dover Quartet, the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt has appeared as a soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra; has performed in recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia including an acclaimed 2011 debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall; and has served on the juries of the Sphinx Competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

With the Dover Quartet she won first prize and every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2013, and the gold medal and grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2010. Her numerous awards also include first prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, and top prizes at the Tokyo International Viola Competition and the Sphinx Competition.

A violin student of Sergiu Schwartz and Melissa Pierson-Barrett for several years, she began studying viola with Michael Klotz at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in 2005. Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Roberto Díaz, Michael Tree, Misha Amory, and Joseph de Pasquale. She received a master’s degree in string quartet performance from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she studied with James Dunham as a member of the Dover Quartet.

Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2020. She also teaches at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.

Camden Shaw, Cello

Camden Shaw is the cellist of the Dover Quartet, the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. He has appeared with the ensemble in performances all over the world to great acclaim. Mr. Shaw has collaborated in chamber music with such renowned artists as Daniel Hope, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and the late Leon Fleischer, and maintains an active career as a soloist. Highlights from recent seasons include a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, Op. 56 with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, where Shaw also holds the principal chair; and the release of his solo album by Unipheye Music, which was met with critical praise.

With the Dover Quartet Mr. Shaw won first prize and every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2013, and the gold medal and grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2010. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2010, where he studied with Peter Wiley. Other major teachers include Norman Fischer, David Finckel, and Steven Isserlis. He performs on an instrument made in 2010 by Frank Ravatin.

Mr. Shaw joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2020. He also teaches at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.