The Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, becoming one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world. The New Yorker recently dubbed them “the young American string quartet of the moment,” and The Strad raved that the Quartet is “already pulling away from their peers with their exceptional interpretive maturity, tonal refinement and taut ensemble.” In 2013-14, the Quartet was the first ever Quartet-in-Residence for the venerated Curtis Institute of Music, and is now faculty Quartet-in-Residence at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music.
In addition to winning the Grand Prize and all three Special Prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Dover Quartet has continued to receive accolades: in 2015 it was announced that the group had been awarded the highly prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, and shortly thereafter, Lincoln Center awarded the quartet the annual Hunt Family Award, as part of the organization's Emerging Artist Awards. In its early years, the quartet also won grand prize at the Fischoff Competition, and special prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition.
During the 2015-16 season, the Dover Quartet will perform more than 120 concerts throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. Highlights include the group's debut at Carnegie Hall, and several residencies including those at Dumbarton Oaks, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, and People's Symphony Concerts in New York. 2016 also includes the quartet's first tour of Israel, and the recording of three albums, to be released beginning next fall. The group regularly appears with acclaimed collaborators, and this season these will include such artists as Anthony McGill, David Shifrin, Anne-Marie McDermott, Avi Avital, and Edgar Meyer. The collaborations with Avi and Edgar will include extensive tours together next season.
The Dover Quartet participates regularly in some of the continent's most reputable summer festivals, including Chamber Music Northwest, Artosphere, Bravo Vail, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and are active proponents of new music: this season included a premier of Pulitzer-Prize winning Caroline Shaw's new quartet at Dumbarton Oaks, and next season will include the premieres of multiple commissions, including works from Richard Danielpour and Michael Djupstrom.
The Dover Quartet was formed in 2008 at the Curtis Institute of Music, and continued their studies as Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music from 2011-13. Because of the exceptional faculty at both of these institutions, the group draws from the musical lineage of the Cleveland, Vermeer, Concord, and Guarneri Quartets. The Quartet has been mentored extensively by Shmuel Ashkenasi, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, Kenneth Goldsmith, Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, and Peter Wiley, and is dedicated to sharing their music with underserved communities and is an active member of Music for Food, an initiative to help musicians fight hunger in their home communities.
From a young age, violinist Joel Link has met much success both as a soloist and chamber musician. As a top prize winner of numerous competitions including the Johansen International Competition in Washington D.C. and the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition in England, Link’s playing has received accolades for being both highly refined and captivatingly passionate. The Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote of a concert, “After Joel played, the audience rose, one at a time, seemingly pulled out of their seats by the richness of his sound and the authority of his musical ideas.” As a result of his prize at the Menuhin Competition, Link was featured in The Strad magazine and has also appeared on numerous radio shows, including NPR’s “From the Top.”
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, he studied with renowned violinists Joseph Silverstein and Pamela Frank, and served as the Curtis Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster for the 2009-2010 season. Joel’s love of chamber music has taken him to highly regarded music festivals across the globe, including the Ravinia and Marlboro music festivals, as well as Music from Angelfire. As a member of the Dover String Quartet, (formerly the Old City String Quartet) Joel has received the Grand Prize as well as the Gold Medal from the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and concertizes with the ensemble to great critical acclaim.
Bryan Lee has performed as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Delaware, Lansdowne, and Temple University Symphony Orchestras, among others. Bryan was awarded the Bronze Medal at the 2005 Stulberg International String Competition and won second prize at the 2004 Kingsville International Young Performers Competition. He was featured on America's National Public Radio station on the show “From the Top”, and has attended Ravinia's Steans Institute for Young Artists, La Jolla Summerfest, Music from Angel Fire, Encore School for Strings, Sarasota Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and the Perlman Music Program.
Serving as Associate Concertmaster of both Symphony in C and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, and as a substitute for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Bryan has performed under the batons of such renowned conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Rossen Milanov, Otto-Werner Mueller, Alan Gilbert, Christoph Eschenbach, and Sir Simon Rattle, and has collaborated in chamber music with Peter Wiley, Ida Kavafian, Roberto Diaz, Anne-Marie McDermott, Carter Brey, and the Tokyo String Quartet. Bryan 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.
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt
Praised by Strad Magazine as having "lyricism that stood out...a silky tone and beautiful, supple lines", violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt has already established herself as one of the most sought-after violists of her generation. In addition to appearances as soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, she has performed in recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe, including an acclaimed 2011 debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, which was described in Strad as being "fleet and energetic...powerful and focused".
Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt is the founding violist of the Dover Quartet, First Prize winner and sweeper of every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition 2013 and winner of the Gold Medal and Grand Prize in the 2010 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Her numerous awards also include First Prize of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and top prizes at the Tokyo International Viola Competition and the Sphinx Competition. Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt's summer festival appearances include Marlboro, Bowdoin, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Sarasota, Strings, Bravo! Vail Valley, and La Jolla Summerfest, as well as Italy's Emilia Romagna Festival. Among the conductors with whom she has worked are Seiji Ozawa, Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert, Charles Dutoit, and Otto-Werner Mueller.
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 Diaz, Michael Tree, Misha Amory, and Joseph de Pasquale. She then received her Master's Degree in String Quartet with the Dover Quartet at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, as a student of James Dunham. Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt performs on a 2004 copy of the Primrose Amati, originally made for Roberto Diaz by Gabrielle Kundert.
Cellist Camden Shaw has captivated audiences across the United States and Europe as an artist of unique and sincere vision. His playing has been described as “Wonderfully rich” (Kansas City Star), “dynamic and brave” (Stereo Times), and possesses a fluidity and flair that is truly unique. As cellist of the prizewinning Dover Quartet, he has appeared all over the world to great acclaim, being called a “phenomenal instrumentalist, who [seems] to have no technical difficulties.” (Rheinpfalz Ludwigshafen.)
Shaw has also collaborated in chamber music with such renowned artists as Daniel Hope, Leon Fleischer, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and maintains an active career as a soloist: highlights from recent years include a performance of the Beethoven Triple concerto with the highly-acclaimed Artosphere Festival Orchestra, where Shaw also holds the principal chair, and the release of his solo album by the audiophile label Unipheye Music. The Album met with much critical praise, and a review in the STRAD magazine said of Shaw’s Kodaly sonata: “There is a raw earthiness to Shaw’s playing, an interplay of passion and plaintive lyricism, and a courageous contempt for [its] horrific demands that is utterly gripping.”
Shaw 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. Shaw performs on an instrument made in 2010 by Sam Zygmuntowicz of Brooklyn, NY.