“Minnesota's foremost teaching and performing string quartet”, the Artaria String Quartet is an “exceptional ensemble with impressive confidence in its interpretations” Winners of the prestigious 2004 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, Artaria was featured on Twin Cities Public Television as part of the "Minnesota Originals" series, and were named 2013-14 Minnesota Public Radio Artists-in-Residence. They recently celebrated their thirty-fifth year of chamber music performing and educating.
Artaria was formed in Boston, and mentored with venerable members of the Kolisch and Juilliard Quartets. Their "refined and thoughtful playing" brought them to the attention of Alexander Schneider, violinist of the legendary Budapest Quartet, who invited them to make their New York debut on his own New School Concert Series. Since then, they have performed at major venues throughout the United States and Europe, on national television and public radio, and at top international music festivals. In 1992, Artaria competed at the Fourth Banff International String Quartet Competition in Banff, CA.
Earning numerous awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and the Minnesota State Arts Board for excellence in performance and educational outreach, Artaria are founders of the highly regarded Artaria Chamber Music School in Saint Paul, MN, Stringwood Summer Chamber Music Festival, in Lanesboro, MN, and the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, which showcases the nation’s top high school and collegiate string quartets each April.
RAY SHOWS - VIOLIN
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, he has held positions at Boston College, Viterbo University, Florida State University and Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory. Named MNSOTA Studio Teacher of the Year in 2010 his students are concerto soloists, scholarship recipients at renowned American music schools, are prizewinners at national competitions, and have appeared on National Public Radio’s From the Top.
Ray 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, Muir, and Colorado Quartets. He is a member of the string faculty at St. Olaf College where he teaches violin, viola and chamber music and is honored to perform on a rare violin by Andrea Castagneri and violin bow by Pierre Simon.
NANCY OLIVEROS - VIOLIN
A founding member of the critically acclaimed Artaria String Quartet, violinist NANCY OLIVEROS has performed at renowned venues in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, and other celebrated spots in the United States and Europe. She is a recipient of a coveted McKnight Fellowship and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and the Minnesota State Arts Board for performance and educational outreach projects.
In Minnesota, Nancy is one of the founders of the Stringwood Summer Chamber Music Festival, and the Artaria Chamber Music School, a weekly coaching program in St. Paul. Formerly, she was Artist/Teacher in Residence at the world-renowned Tanglewood Institute, coaching alongside her mentors Norman Fischer and the Muir Quartet. With the ASQ, she competed at the finals of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, and was a protege 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 mentored by members of the Budapest, Juilliard, La Salle, and Cleveland Quartets. She is delighted to own and perform on a rare 1781 Neapolitan violin by Tomaso Eberle.
ANNALEE WOLF - VIOLA
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.
PATRICIA RYAN - CELLO
Cellist PATRICIA RYAN, an avid chamber musician, has performed with some of the world's leading chamber musicians including pianist Emanuel Ax, the Pacifica String Quartet, violinist Geoff Nuttall of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, cellist Norman Fischer and Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and violinists Ian Swensen and Axel Strauss.
In addition to her roles in Artaria, Ms. Ryan is on faculty at Walker|West Music Academy, a core member of the Houston-based conductorless ensemble KINETIC, a member of new music ensemble 10th Wave Chamber Collective as well as the Delphia Cello Quartet. Ms. Ryan is the host of the podcast Haydn Behind the Music Stand, where she interviews classical musicians on their careers and inspirations outside the field and has appeared as a pre-concert speaker for the Minnesota Orchestra.
Ms. Ryan has completed a 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 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 Suleiman on full scholarship.
Ms. Ryan performs on a 1976 Gio Batta Morassi cello and a 1988 Roger Zabinski bow.