Stephen Hinton is the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Music and, by courtesy, of German Studies at Stanford University. Since coming to Stanford in 1994, he has held the positions of chair of the Department of Music, Senior Associate Dean for Humanities and Arts, and, most recently, Denning Family Director of the Stanford Arts Institute. A leading authority on the composer Kurt Weill, he has published widely on many aspects of modern German music history, with contributions to publications such as Cambridge Opera Handbooks, Handwörterbuch der musikalischen Terminologie, New Grove Dictionary of Opera, New Grove Dictionary of Music, Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, and Funkkolleg Musikgeschichte. He has also served as editor of the journal Beethoven Forum. His recent book, Weill’s Musical Theater: Stages of Reform (University of California Press: Berkeley, 2012), the first musicological study of Weill’s complete stage works, received the 2013 Kurt Weill Book Prize for outstanding scholarship in music theater since 1900. He is an avid amateur chamber musician who regrets having too little time to practice his two instruments (viola and piano).
St. Lawrence String Quartet
The St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) enters its second quarter century of growth and worldwide concert-giving with acclaim from audiences, critics and the music community alike. “It's a modern string quartet that brings flexibility, dramatic fire and a hint of rock 'n' roll energy,” writes the Los Angeles Times. “Player for player, this is a superb group,” writes the New York Times...“[conveying] the excitement of playing whatever is on their stands at the moment.”
In recent seasons, the SLSQ has made a specialty of the 68 string quartets of Joseph Haydn. In the Quartet's opinion, the true genius of Haydn often suffers from a formulaic and glossed-over familiarity on concert programs. In response, the SLSQ's interpretations of Haydn lay down a new standard for gripping, tender, hilarious, wicked, and charming performances of these masterpieces. The SLSQ often performs “Haydn Discovery” programs, which provide audiences with an engaging guided tour through the moment-to-moment architecture of his quartets to encourage active listening. A recording of Haydn's Symphony no. 102 (in its crisp arrangement for chamber ensemble by Salomon) has recently been released by the SLSQ, and a recording of the six groundbreaking quartets of Op. 20 is expected to be completed in 2016.
Violinist Geoff Nuttall and violist Lesley Robertson founded the quartet in Canada in 1989. Cellist Christopher Costanza joined the group in 2003, and violinist Owen Dalby is the most recent member. With its appointment as faculty members in the Department of Music and as ensemble-in-residence at Stanford University for almost two decades, the SLSQ is deeply involved in teaching musicians from all academic backgrounds and disciplines. Its seminars, masterclasses and interdisciplinary collaborations attract students from around the world. Cultivating a wide repertoire that embraces the great works of the classical literature, off-the-beaten-path composers, and new works (often written specially for the group), the SLSQ continues to engage with audiences in over one hundred concerts a year. In the words of Alex Ross of The New Yorker: "The St. Lawrence are remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection."
For further information about the SLSQ and its members, see the Quartet's homepage at www.slsq.com.
Victoria Chang recently completed her PhD in musicology at Stanford University. In her dissertation, Musical Modernism and the Search for Second-Person Lyric, she explored how the meanings of lyric expression changed between Romanticism and Modernism and developed a theory of how lyric may provide a sort of weak redemption in conditions of trauma or moral injury. She is a vocalist and conductor specializing in sacred music, especially chant and polyphony up to 1600.