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Photo: Vicki Blazing 


Artaria String Quartet

A warm, rich sound is the hallmark of the Artaria String Quartet.  Named after the Italian publishers of the first issues of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven quartets, Artaria’s refined and thoughtful playing has brought them critical acclaim in Europe and throughout the United States. The Boston Globe describes Artaria as “exquisitely balanced and sonorous” and that “their musical understanding was first-rate”.   Formed in Boston in 1986, Artaria was mentored by members of the Budapest, La Salle, Kolisch, Juilliard, and Cleveland Quartets, serving as artists-in-residence at Boston University's Tanglewood Institute, performing at Festival de L’Epau in France, and at the final rounds of the 1992 Banff International String Quartet Competition. They have made numerous appearances on television and live radio, and have performed at major venues throughout the U.S. including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Cleveland and Boston.  In 2001, Artaria became Minnesota's quartet-in-residence, winning the prestigious McKnight Fellowship for performing musicians, serving as MPR's artists-in-residence, and being featured as Minnesota originals on Twin Cities Public Television MN-Original series. The quartet’s performances are recorded on Centaur Records and Aequebis Recordings.   Artaria is recognized  nationally for their passionate teaching style and for their commitment to preparing a new generation of chamber musicians. Recipients of the inaugural Rural Residency Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Quartet has been awarded Teaching Artist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, Midori's Partners in Performance, and the Heartland Fund for performance and educational outreach. They possess an exceptional ability to offer exciting performances and innovative programs to audiences of all ages.   Members of the Artaria String Quartet are founders and directors of the Artaria Chamber Music School in Saint Paul, MN a year-round chamber music coaching program for advanced string players, and the Stringwood Chamber Music Festival. They also present the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, an annual national event that showcases America’s finest high school string quartets in the country.   Firmly rooted in the great traditions of the chamber music masterpieces, the Artaria String Quartet is a staunch advocate of contemporary music, premiering a wide array of new works and numerous commissions. Artaria is committed to supporting and celebrating students, audiences, and composers of all diversity, and to making a contribution toward social confront one's role in perpetuating injustice, to facilitate the healing of past wounds, and to open opportunities for all to thrive today and always.

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Colombian-American Violinist RAY SHOWS is a complete musician with three decades of performances as 1st violin of the acclaimed Artaria String Quartet and as a solo recitalist. His sound "a wail of individuality" Ray has performed in major concert halls in New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis across the U.S. and in Europe. Winner of a prestigious McKnight Performing Artist Fellowship, Ray is a highly regarded chamber musician who has collaborated with renowned artists Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri Quartet), Eugene Drucker (Emerson Quartet), Paul Katz (Cleveland Quartet), and Raphael Hillyer (Juilliard Quartet) and has appeared on national television and radio broadcasts in both the U.S. and Canada. Ray is passionate about 20th century music and has recorded music of today's leading composers, including Gunther Schuller, Augusta Read Thomas, Marjorie Merryman and Thomas Oboe Lee. A Teaching-Artist in Residence at the Tanglewood Institute, Ray has held positions at Boston College, Viterbo University, Florida State University and Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory. Named MNSOTA Music Studio teacher of the year in 2010 his students are concerto soloists, scholarship recipients at renowned American music schools, prizewinners at national competitions, and have appeared on National Public Radio’s From the Top. Shows received the coveted Director's Award and graduated with distinction from Boston University and Florida State University  in Violin Performance under the tutelage of Carl Flesch protégé Roman Totenberg and Galamian assistant Gerardo Ribeiro. Chamber Music studies were mentored by Eugene Lehner of the legendary Kolisch Quartet and by members of the Budapest, Juilliard, Emerson, Cleveland, LaSalle, and Muir Quartets. Shows is a member of the faculty of St. Olaf College where he teaches violin, viola and chamber music. He is founding 1st violinist of the Artaria String Quartet and Artistic Administrator of Stringwood and the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition. Ray performs on a rare violin by Andrea Castagneri and a bow by Pierre Simon.

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A founding member of the critically acclaimed Artaria String Quartet, named a 2014 Minnesota Original, and a 2004 McKnight Fellow, violinist NANCY OLIVEROS has performed at renowned venues in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, and throughout the United States and Europe. She is a multi-year recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and the Minnesota State Arts Board for performance and educational outreach projects. In the early 2000's,  she co-founded the Stringwood Summer Chamber Music Festival in Lanesboro, MN and the Artaria Chamber Music School in St. Paul, and has performed with members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, St. Lawrence, Pacifica, Concord, and Cleveland Quartets and many more of today's finest chamber players. With the ASQ, she served multiple summers on the faculty of Boston University's Tanglewood Institute as Quartet-in-Residence, competed at the finals of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, and was a protégé of Walter Levine at ProQuartet and the L'Epau Festival in France. She was a fellowship student at Aspen, Kneisel Hall, and the Florida Festival and was a graduate teaching assistant and concertmaster at The Florida State University and Boston University studying violin and chamber music  with Roman Totenberg, Eugene Lehner, Raphael Hillyer, and the Muir Quartet. Further studies in Chamber Music were with members of the Budapest, Emerson, and Cleveland Quartets. Nancy's principal violin teachers were Roman Totenberg, Gerardo Ribeiro, and Karen Clarke. Her students are national prizewinners and can be found in professional posts around the world. Ms. Oliveros and pianist Mary Ellen Haupert's critically acclaimed recordings of the chamber music of Louise Farrenc are on the Centaur label. She is delighted to own and perform on a rare 1781 Neopolitan violin by Tomaso Eberle.

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A native of Minnesota, Violist ANNALEE WOLF received her undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College. After completing her Master of Music degree at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she earned a Premier Prix in viola performance from the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, and subsequently studied chamber music and the humanities at the European Mozart Academy. She has performed with the North Carolina, Greensboro, Charleston, and Savannah Symphonies, as well as the European Philharmonic Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Annalee has participated in numerous national and international festivals, including the Quartet Program, the Winter Institute for String Quartets, the Kneisel Hall, Hampden-Sydney, Brandeis, Domaine Forget (Quebec) festivals, and the Cours International de Musique in Morges, Switzerland. She has frequently performed as guest artist with the West End Chamber Ensemble and the Ciompi String Quartet, and in 1995 appeared as soloist at the Eduard Tubin Music Festival in Tallinn, Estonia. Other European appearances have included concerts in Rome, Warsaw, Brussels, Budapest, Prague, Bulgaria, Croatia, and a performance for the president of Romania at his palace in Bucharest. Annalee has taught viola and chamber music at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Minnesota, St. Olaf College, and the MacPhail Center for Music. She has been a student of Andrea Een, Roland Vamos, Toby Appel, and Ervin Schiffer, and has studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Takacs, Mendelssohn, Lydian, and Haydn String Quartets.

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Artaria cellist Patricia Ryan has performed with some of the world's leading chamber musicians including pianist Emanuel Ax, the Pacifica String Quartet, violinists Geoff Nuttall, Ian Swensen, Axel Strauss, Wei He, Bettina Mussumeli, violists John Largess, Ivo-Jan van der Werff, Jodi Levitz, Paul Hersh, Steve Dann, Max Mandel, and cellists Norman Fischer and Jean-Michel Fonteneau. ​Ms. Ryan is a core member of the Houston-based conductorless ensemble KINETIC, which is beginning its sixth season for the 2020-2021 season. ​Equally passionate about advocating for contemporary music, Patricia is also a member of the Twin Cities based group 10th Wave Chamber Collective. ​Patricia is the newest member of the Delphia Cello Quartet and some of her cello quartet arrangements are featured with the ensemble. ​She also is the host of the podcast Haydn Behind the Music Stand, where she interviews weekly guests about their musical journey and an outside interest that inspires their musicianship. Patricia is a three-time alumna of the Tanglewood Music Center and a three-time orchestral participant in the Spoleto USA Festival Orchestra and a chamber fellow at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival where she worked with members of the Artis String Quartet, Alexander String Quartet, Emerson String Quartet, and Brentano String Quartet, as well as resident Yale School of Music faculty. She has also participated in the Chamber Music Program at Domaine Forget and Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado as the member of the Young Artist in Residence string quartet with her previous group, The Kamila Quartet. ​Ms. Ryan completed a second Masters of Music at Rice University Shepherd School of Music on full tuition scholarship under the tutelage of Norman Fischer, an Artist Certificate in Chamber Music Performance and a Masters of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and a Bachelors of Music at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music with Tchaikovsky Competition laureate Nathaniel Rosen and Alexander Sulieman on full scholarship. She is currently performing on a 1977 Gio Batta Morassi cello and a 1988 Roger Zabinski bow previously owned by Robert Jamieson of the Minnesota Orchestra.

“The faculty insights about music and playing were mind-blowing. I really enjoyed all of the master classes.”

“Coming home from the Artaría concert... everyone was super excited and talking about the concert, and I realized, everyone is like me and cares about the music and finds it really fun.”

Assistant Faculty


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Violinist Matt Lammers earned his DMA at Rice University, where he was the Itzhak Perlman Fellow and a Graduate Instructor of Music Theory. He remains on the preparatory violin faculty of the Shepherd School of Music and is a coach, founder, and director of the Opus 1 Chamber Music School (Houston, TX). During summers, he teaches privately and coaches chamber music at the Stringwood Chamber Music Festival (Lanesboro, MN). His teachers include Paul Kantor (Rice University), Carolyn Huebl (Vanderbilt University), Christian Teal, and Ray Shows. As a chamber musician, Matt appears regularly with the Kinetic Ensemble, Da Camera of Houston, Music in CONTEXT, Ventana Ballet, the Mercury Chamber Orchestra, and as a founding member of Austin Camerata. He has shared the stage with Jinjoo Cho, Cho-Liang Lin, Norman Fischer, Desmond Hoebig, James Dunham, Ivo van der Werff, Wolfgang Rubsam, the Carpe Diem, Cezanne, and Blair Quartets, and members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He also looks forward to joining the Axiom Quartet in August 2023. As an orchestral player, he is a substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra and was a Concertmaster of Rice University’s Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, where he led the Chamber Orchestra in its first unconducted symphonic performance. In 2019, as Executive Producer and first violinist, Matt was awarded the City of Houston’s generous Support for Artists and Creative Individuals Grant for commissioning the world premieres of composer Michael Alec Rose's exploratory chamber opera-ballet Lolly Willowes. Invested in historical performance as well as new music, he has self-published solo violin transcriptions of rarely heard Lute Sonatas by Sylvius Leopold Weiss, as well as J.S. Bach’s famous D-minor Toccata and Fugue for organ, proposing that it originated as a work for solo string instrument. The subject of his dissertation, A String Player’s Guide to Evaluating Sound and Playability, Matt also explores the effects of acoustical construction on the characteristics of violins with research partner and luthier Keith Hill (Nashville, TN).

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Violinist Hannah Kennedy is a committed collaborator and recitalist known for her creativity and thoughtful interpretations. She is dedicated to broadening typical notions of programming and strives to highlight connections between all eras, styles, and composers.  After earning a BM in performance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as an Eileen Phillips Cohen String Quartet Fellow, Hannah proceeded to CU Boulder to obtain a Master’s Degree and an Artist Diploma in solo violin as a student of Harumi Rhodes and Edward Dusinberre of the Takács Quartet. In the summers, she  attended Stringwood and was a Fellow at Madeline Island Chamber Music, working with members of the Artaria, Arianna, American, Dover, and St. Lawrence String Quartets. Masterclass performances were with members of the Tákacs, Enso, Pacifica, Juilliard, Jupiter, and Pro Arte String Quartets. Hannah was awarded first prize in the 2020 Ekstrand Graduate Student Competition and presented J.S. Bach's Chaconne as an Ekstrand semi-finalist in 2019. A teaching assistant to Dr. Robert Hill at CU Boulder and a member of the Altius Quartet in Colorado for the 2020-21 season, Hannah performed with COmpass Resonance Ensemble at the 2021-22 Boulder Bach Festival’s and most recently was a Virtual Performer Fellow in the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Music Academy. In the upcoming season, she looks forward to collaborating on a variety of chamber music projects, including recording a transcription of Bela Bartók’s ‘Contrasts’ with saxophonist Erick Miranda and pianist Hyeji Park Miranda.

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Violist Alexandra Sophocleus is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, earning a degree in performance in the studio of artist-teacher Peter Slowik. At Oberlin, Alexandra was closely mentored in chamber music by members of the Cavani Quartet, Merry Peckham and Kirsten Docter, and in masterclasses given by the Dover, Enso, and Calder String Quartets. She was a participant of Stringwood for five summers, as well as the Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival, and the National Orchestral Institute and Festival where she served as principal viola and  participated in several recordings for the Naxos record label. In 2018, she recorded for Naxos as a member of the Oberlin Sinfonietta in “Songtree”, an album featuring the works of Guggenheim Fellow, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon.   Alexandra resides in Minneapolis, MN, and frequently performs with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Valley Women's and Men's Chorales, and with other Twin Cities chamber musicians. In July of 2018, she had the privilege of performing with the Artaria String Quartet on twenty-four hours’ notice, stepping in for Annalee Wolf, to perform the Schulhoff Concerto for String Quartet and Winds with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra in Duluth, MN. Currently, Alexandra is completing an M.A. in Counseling Psychology at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota with the goal of becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor specializing in Eating Disorder treatment. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, sight-reading chamber music, and participating in trivia nights with her friends.

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Daniel Kopp, co-founder and artistic director of Austin Camerata, is an active cellist and educator in Austin, Texas. An avid chamber musician, he has performed across the country, including at Tanglewood, Aspen, and Kneisel Hall. Notable orchestral performances include his debut at Carnegie Hall as principal cellist of the New York String Orchestra Seminar and at Seiji Ozawa Hall as principal cellist of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Through Austin Camerata, Daniel creates chamber music, dance, and storytelling collaborations at venues across central Texas. Austin Camerata has been praised by the Austin American-Statesman for its “unadulterated beauty” and nominated by the Austin Critics Table for ‘best classical ensemble’. In addition to Austin Camerata, Daniel has performed with the Grammy-winning choral ensemble Conspirare, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Ventana Ballet, and Beerthoven. Daniel graduated from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas. His teachers include Bion Tsang, Norman Fischer, Cathie Lehr-Ramos, and Mary Lou Gotman. In addition, he’s had the honor of studying chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, and Miro Quartets. A devoted educator, he serves on the faculty at the Manitou Chamber Music Festival, Stringwood Chamber Music Festival, and the Clavier-Werke School of Music.

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