We are delighted to announce the winners of this year's John Lad prize: invoke!

As our Emerging String Quartet last spring, Stanford audiences were lucky enough to experience the genre-bending invoke on the cusp of a great triumph—first prize in the open category of the international chamber-arts competition M-Prize.

As winner of the 2018 John Lad Prize, invoke will return next season to perform as guests of Stanford Live, and will also receive an invitation to perform on Vancouver’s Music on Main series.

Now in its eighth 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.

Vancouver’s Music on Main:

Stanford Live:

small invoke-38_credit_Nathan_Russell.jpg