For three decades cellist Christopher Costanza has enjoyed a varied and exciting career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. A winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and a recipient of a prestigious Solo Recitalists Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mr. Costanza has performed to wide critical acclaim in nearly every state in the U.S., and in Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Romania, and Hungary. His summer festival appearances include the Marlboro, Yellow Barn, Santa Fe, Taos, Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle, Bay Chamber Concerts, Ottawa, and Bravo! Vail Valley festivals. Mr. Costanza is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied cello with Laurence Lesser, David Wells, and Bernard Greenhouse, and chamber music with Eugene Lehner, Louis Krasner, and Leonard Shure.
Mr. Costanza joined the St. Lawrence String Quartet in 2003, and tours extensively with that ensemble, performing over 100 concerts annually throughout the world. As a member of the St. Lawrence, he is an Artist in Residence at Stanford University, where he teaches cello and chamber music and performs a wide variety of formal and informal concerts each season, from the stages of the University’s concert halls to student dormitories and lecture halls. A strong proponent of contemporary music, Mr. Costanza works regularly with the world’s most notable composers, such as John Adams, Jonathan Berger, Osvaldo Golijov, Mark Applebaum, Pierre Boulez, George Tsontakis, Roberto Sierra, R. Murray Schafer, William Bolcom, John Corigliano, and Bright Sheng. As a student, he had the honor of studying Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” under the guidance of the composer.
Mr. Costanza’s discography includes numerous chamber music and solo recordings on the Nonesuch, EMI/Angel, Naxos, Innova, Albany, Summit, and ArtistShare labels. In 2006, he received a Grammy nomination for his recording of major chamber works for winds and strings by Mozart. Additionally, several St. Lawrence String Quartet recordings on EMI have also been nominated for Juno awards. In 2012 Mr. Costanza launched a website featuring his recordings of the Six Suites for Solo Cello by J.S. Bach. The site showcases the recordings in combination with commentary, history, web links, and additional Bach-related resources. Visit the site at costanzabach.stanford.edu.
Mr. Costanza is frequently heard on radio broadcasts worldwide, including the CBC in Canada, NPR in the United States, and on various European broadcasting networks. He is privileged to perform on an early 18th century Venetian cello made by Francesco Gobetti and Giuseppe Guarneri, part of the Harry R. Lange Collection of Instruments and Bows at Stanford.
In addition to his varied musical interests, Mr. Costanza is an avid long-distance runner and hiker. A self-described train enthusiast, he enjoys riding and exploring the passenger railways of the world. Additionally, he is fascinated by architecture (railway stations, for starters), and seeks out innovative architectural offerings of each city he visits on tour. At home in California, he is passionate about cooking, focusing his attention on new and creative dishes which take advantage of the abundance of remarkable organic local produce. Mr. Costanza lives with two wonderful violinists: his wife, Debra Fong, and their daughter, Isabella.