Geoff Nuttall, a violinist, died today at the age of 56. He served as the first violinist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) from its inception, the director of chamber music for the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, and a professor at Stanford University.
He had pancreatic cancer for a very long period, which is believed to be the cause of death. The family will soon release the details of the funeral.
At age 8, Nuttall picked up the violin after relocating from Texas to Ontario, Canada. He studied under Lorand Fenyves at the University of Toronto, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He co-founded the St. Lawrence String Quartet in 1989, not long after graduation.
The group quickly won first-place awards in the Young Concert Artist Auditions and the Banff International String Quartet Competition. It quickly established itself as a mainstay at some of North America’s most renowned festivals and concert venues.
Violinist Barry Shiffman, violist Lesley Robertson, and cellist Marina Hoover were co-founding members of the SLSQ when it was founded in 1989 by Nuttall. Cellist Christopher Costanza, who joined the quartet in 2003, and violinist Owen Dalby, who joined in 2015, make up the current lineup.
The SLSQ won the Young Concert Artists Auditions and first place at the Banff International String Quartet Competition soon after its founding (BISQC). Additionally, the ensemble agreed to an exclusive recording deal with EMI Classics.
As a director, Nuttall selected the music for each of the 33 performances held each year and, on numerous occasions, performed as a violinist and founding member of Spoleto’s quartet-in-residence, the St. Lawrence String Quartet.
He married violinist Livia Sohn in Charleston and celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. The couple has two boys, Jack and Ellis. Charleston was the one place where he would spend the most time during his early years as a musician because he traveled so much.
The net worth of Nuttall is estimated to be over 1.5 million.