Described as an “exceptional ensemble with impressive confidence in its interpretations” and “Minnesota's foremost teaching and performing string quartet”, the Artaria String Quartet recently celebrated its 30 year of chamber music concerts. Winners of the 2004 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, and named 2013-14 Minnesota Public Radio Artists-in-Residence, Artaria was also featured on Twin Cities Public Television as part of the "Minnesota Originals" series.
Artaria's refined and thoughtful playing has brought them to major venues throughout the United States and Europe, on national television and public radio stations, and at top summer festivals including the Banff Centre in Canada, Festival de L’Epau in France, and the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, MA.
Artaria has earned 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. Directors of the Artaria Chamber Music School, a premiere weekly string chamber music program in Saint Paul; and Stringwood Chamber Music Festival, featuring the ASQ and renowned guest artists every June in Lanesboro, MN; they are founders of the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, which showcases the nation’s top high school age string quartets each April.
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 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. 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, Muir, and Colorado Quartets. Shows is a member of the string faculty at St. Olaf College where he teaches violin, viola and chamber music. He is honored to perform on a rare violin by Andrea Castagneri and violin bow by Pierre Simon.
A founding member of the critically acclaimed Artaria String Quartet 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. She has performed with members of the Boston Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra, Juilliard, Guarneri, Cleveland, Miro, Pacifica, Cavani, and St. Lawrence Quartets, among others. Co-founder of the Stringwood Summer Chamber Music Festival in Lanesboro, MN and the Artaria Chamber Music School in St. Paul, she was Artist/Teacher in Residence at the world-renowned Tanglewood Institute under the mentorship of Norman Fischer. 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, 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. She is delighted to own and perform on a rare 1781 Neapolitan violin by Tomaso Eberle.
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.
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, violist Steven Dann and Max Mandel, and esteemed faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music including violin faculty Ian Swensen, Axel Strauss, Wei He, and Bettina Mussumeli, viola faculty Jodi Levitz and Paul Hersh, and cello faculty Jean-Michel Fonteneau. She participated and received top prizes in the Plowman, Coleman, and Fischoff Chamber Music Competitions and has performed internationally in Portugal and China as part of the Viana de Castello International Music Festival and the San Francisco-Shanghai International Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Ryan is a three-time alumna of the Tanglewood Music Center and has participated in the 2017 Robert Mann String Quartet Institute, Spoleto USA Festival Orchestra, Domaine Forget Chamber Music Session, and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival where she worked closely with the Brentano String Quartet, Emerson String Quartet, Artis String Quartet, Alexander String Quartet, and chamber music faculty of the Yale School of Music. She has participated in master classes with Alisa Weilerstein, Steven Isserlis, Menahem Pressler, Kim Kashkashian, Bonnie Hampton, Guarneri String Quartet and Takács Quartet and has shared the stage with maestro Michael Tilson Thomas, and pop rock legends Jeff Beck and Tom Jones in a Grammy Foundation celebration of Sir George Martin. Ms. Ryan has 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 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.