With legendary wit and a remarkably broad repertoire, violinist Geoff Nuttall directs Chamber Music from Spoleto Festival USA featuring 13 revelatory programs, each performed by a line-up of exceptional musicians. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein and baritone Tyler Duncan return to the historic Dock Street Theatre, joined by Festival favorites including flutist Tara Helen O’Connor, pianists Pedja Muzijevic and Inon Barnatan, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet—which celebrates its 25th year as an ensemble, 20 in residency at Spoleto Festival USA. Nuttall also welcomes newcomers violinist Benjamin Beilman and composer-in-residence Mark Applebaum. Host Miles Hoffman offers the audience a brilliant combination of canonic jewels and obscure findings and crafts an extraordinary experience that is equal parts learning, laughing, and musical nirvana.
MILES HOFFMAN (Host) Violist Miles Hoffman is founder and artistic director of The American Chamber Players. He made his New York recital debut in 1979 at the 92nd Street Y and has since appeared frequently around the country in recital, as chamber musician, and as soloist with many orchestras. In 1982 he founded the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival, which he directed for nine years, and which led to the formation of the American Chamber Players. His musical commentary, “Coming to Terms,” was heard weekly throughout the United States for thirteen years – from 1989 to 2002 – on NPR’s Performance Today, and now, as Music Commentator for National Public Radio’s flagship news program, Morning Edition, he is regularly heard by a national audience of nearly 14 million people. Mr. Hoffman is the author of The NPR Classical Music Companion: Terms and Concepts from A to Z, now in its tenth printing from the Houghton Mifflin Company. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Juilliard School, and in 2003 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Centenary College of Louisiana in recognition of his achievements as a performer and educator. He is the host of two of South Carolina Public Radio’s national productions, The Spoleto Chamber Series, and A Minute with Miles.
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 over 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 sixth season as the Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Director for Chamber Music.