Known for his humorous stage banter and expansive knowledge of music, violinist Geoff Nuttall is the artistic director of Chamber Music from Spoleto Festival USA. This revelatory series features 13 programs, performed by a line-up of world-class musicians, including members of the renowned St. Lawrence String Quartet. Cellists Alisa Weilerstein and Chris Costanza, clarinetist Todd Palmer, pianists Pedja Muzijevic and Inon Barnaton, flutist Tara Helen O’Connor, violist Daniel Philips, and violinists Livia Sohn and Benjamin Beilman are among those returning to the Dock Street Theater for the series. Nuttall also welcomes composer in residence Osvaldo Golijov, who has worked closely with both St. Lawrence String Quartet and The Kronos Quartet. Alongside favorite works by masters such as Barber, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky, the series highlights new compositions, including the world premiere of Golijov’s “Drag Down the Sky.” As host, journalist Lisa Simeone brings listeners thoughtful commentary and historical background on the pieces, composers, and artists featured on the series.
LISA SIMEONE has been working in public radio, local and national, for more than 30 years. She has hosted NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered, Weekend Edition Sunday, and Performance Today, as well as the independent documentary series Soundprint, the Metropolitan Opera, the Baltimore Symphony Casual Concerts, and countless live broadcasts. She currently hosts At the Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Broadcast Series. Lisa began her career at WBJC in Baltimore, and then worked at WETA in Washington, DC. After that, during her ten years at Baltimore’s WJHU, she developed a loyal following for her unusual mix of programming—classical, folk, and jazz, along with provocative reports, interviews, and call-in shows on a wide variety of topics, everything from anthropology to neuroscience to philosophy to politics. She has written for Style Magazine, Urbanite, and City Paper and for several years wrote book reviews and op-eds for the Baltimore Sun. She’s a 1980 graduate of St. John’s College in Annapolis (the so-called “Great Books school”) and in 1997 received her M.A. in non-fiction from The Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University. She lives in Baltimore.
GEOFF NUTTALL (The Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Director for Chamber Music) began playing the violin at age eight after moving to Ontario from 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’s degree. In 1989 Nuttall co-founded the St. Lawrence String Quartet. As a member of this Grammy-nominated foursome, he has played more than 2,000 concerts throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The world-renowned foursome’s busy touring schedule has taken them to such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum, Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam, Theatre de Ville Paris, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and the White House for President Clinton and guests. Nuttall’s other notable engagements include Arvo Pärt’s Tabula Rasa concerto for two violins, performed with the LA Phil as part of the Minimalist Jukebox Festival; and performances with soprano Dawn Upshaw in Peter Sellars’s staging of György Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments in New York, Los Angeles, Berkeley, London, Brussels, and Rome. With the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Nuttall 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. He 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 the Bay Area with his wife Livia Sohn and sons, Jack and Ellis. This is Nuttall’s seventh season as the Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Director for Chamber Music.