We are delighted to announce the winners of this year's John Lad prize, the Tesla Quartet!
New York based Tesla Quartet first performed on the Bing Concert Hall stage during the 2017 St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar at Stanford. As winner of the 2017 John Lad Prize, they will return next season to perform as guests of Stanford Live.
The musicians — Ross Snyder and Michelle Lie (violins), Edwin Kaplan (viola) and Serafim Smigelskiy (cello) will receive invitations to perform for both Stanford Live and Vancouver’s Music on Main series, and will also participate in the 2017 Emerging String Quartet Program at Stanford. Now in its seventh year honoring exceptional emerging chamber ensembles, the Lad prize is named after the SLSQ’s dear friend John Lad (Stanford ’74), a violist and ardent chamber music devotee.
The SLSQ was initially introduced to Lad when they were preparing R. Murray Shafer's String Quartet no. 6 (“Parting the Wild Horses Main”), a composition which combines string quartet with the movements of Tai Chi. He went on to perform and tour with the ensemble across North America and Europe for several seasons. Lad was a fixture at the SLSQ’s summer Chamber Music Seminar, playing viola, leading early morning Tai Chi classes in Braun Courtyard, playing a Tai Chi based ball toss game with eager participants, then reading chamber music late into the night.
“John Lad’s passion for playing string quartets was addictive,” says SLSQ co-founder and first violinist Geoff Nuttall. “His devotion to music against all odds and his total lack of ego are both qualities that are crucial to the success of any young ensemble.” At the time of his death, Lad was teaching Tai Chi in the physical education department at Columbia/Barnard University.
For more information about Vancouver’s Music on Main, visit www.musiconmain.ca
For more information about Stanford Live, visit live.stanford.edu
ABOUT THE TESLA QUARTET
Praised for their “superb capacity to find the inner heart of everything they play, regardless of era, style or technical demand” (The International Review of Music), the Tesla Quartet brings refinement and prowess to both new and established repertoire. Dubbed “technically superb” by The Strad, the Tesla Quartet recently took Second Prize as well as the Haydn Prize and Canadian Commission Prize at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition. The quartet has also garnered top prizes at numerous other international competitions, including the Gold Medal at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Third Prize and the Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work at the 6th International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna, and Third Prize at the 2012 London International String Quartet Competition. The London Evening Standard called their rendition of the Debussy Quartet “a subtly coloured performance that balanced confidently between intimacy and extraversion.”
Having recently completed their tenure as the Marjorie Young Bell String Quartet-in-Residence at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, the Tesla Quartet also holds a community residency in Hickory, North Carolina that includes performances and workshops at local colleges, universities, and in the public school system, as well as a dedicated chamber music series. The quartet performs regularly across North America, with recent international appearances in London, Vienna, Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul. The 2017-18 season includes debut performances in Germany and Hungary, concerts across America, and a residency with the Quad City Visiting Artist Series.
Community involvement and outreach are integral parts of the Tesla Quartet’s mission, and the group has brought inspiring music to children’s hospitals, soup kitchens, libraries, retirement communities, and schools. In addition to their current work in North Carolina, the ensemble spent three years in partnership with the Aspen Music Festival’s Musical Odysseys Reaching Everyone program (M.O.R.E), providing lessons, master classes, workshops, and performances for young string players. The Quartet has also provided community enrichment programs to the Steamboat Springs and Craig, CO communities as Quartet-in-Residence at the Strings Music Festival, and coached a chamber music program in conjunction with the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras.